DECEMBER 3, 2012
HALIFAX, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic was shocked to learn that experimental fracking project planned for the West Coast of NL is expecting to ship fracking waste to Nova Scotia. The company, Shoal Point Energy, announced its plans at a community meeting in Cow Head, NL last week.
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A dire filth now threatens the Gulf of St. Lawrence — a semi-enclosed sea that we must not open up to oil and gas drilling. Our gulf’s relative confinement and strong Atlantic winds make it more risky for drilling even than the Gulf of Mexico. However, seismic testing in preparation for drilling has taken place there with the active encouragement of both federal and provincial governments, who are supposedly the watchdogs protecting Canada’s oceanic environment from destructive exploitation.... Read more »
Canada's multimillion dollar proposal to cull grey seals will not bring back the ravaged stocks of Atlantic cod it is intended to help, scientists have said.
In October, the Canadian Senate approved a controversial plan to kill 70,000 grey seals in the Gulf of St Lawrence under a bounty system next year, ostensibly to revive the cod stocks that the seals were eating.
But a group of marine scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have said in a recent open letter: "There is no credible scientific evidence to suggest a cull of grey seals in Atlantic Canada would help depleted fish stocks recover.
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Letter Requesting that Human Impacts on Oceans be Included in Assessing Ecologically Significant Habitats
Sierra Club Atlantic's Dr. Fred Winsor is participating in consultations to identify areas that are important in terms of their contribution to biodiveristy, uniqueness, and productivity off Newfoundland and Labrador (what the Department of Fisheries and Oceans referes to as "Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas" or EBSAs). Fred wrote this letter to ask that the process of identifying ESBAs include the impact of humans on the ecosystems being studied, since some areas now depleted - such as fishing grounds near the Grey Islands off the Great Northern Peninsula - were formerly hotspots for the fishery - and could be once again with efforts at ocean food web recovery. The letter also gives a great historical overview of the European and Canadian fishery over the past five hundred years.
Attn: Nadine Templeman, DFO St. John's, Newfoundland
Dear Nadine Templeman:
We write as a follow-up to the meeting on Ecologically and Biologically SignificantAreas (EBSAs) held in St. John's, Newfoundland, October 23-25 2012. It was encouraging to view and hear the findings regarding Canada's ocean habitats off northern Newfoundland and the coast of Labrador. We view this as an ongoing process as we all strive to better understand the complex dynamics of our oceans.
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OTTAWA -- Sierra Club Canada is appalled the Senate is recommending a massive grey seal slaughter on Canada’s east coast despite testimony from independent scientists that a slaughter could damage ocean ecosystems.
Bowing to the east coast fishing and sealing lobby, the Senate’s fisheries committee wants tens of thousands of grey seals killed, supposedly to enable a come back for the cod fishery, virtually extinguished after decades of government mismanagement and industry greed. But even the federal Department of Fisheries admitted, in a 2011 study, that there is no scientific evidence showing slaughters are effective in bringing back depleted fish stocks.
“This is nothing more than a subsidy for a dead industry,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada. “No grey seals were killed this year and only 200 pelts were sold in 2011. The markets are gone because people no longer support seal slaughters.”... Read more »