West Coast Marine Safety Annoucement Doesn't Cut It
Government suggests we can have our cake and eat it, too.
Vancouver: Living Oceans Society reacted to today’s announcement on west coast marine safety with chagrin, noting that the government still seems to believe we can have our cake and eat it, too. “You can throw all the money you want at it,” said Executive Director Karen Wristen. “Dilbit still won't float. And there is no strategy that will prevent additional shipping from creating noise that disrupts Killer Whales. It's clear we can't have pipeline and tanker projects AND Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery."
Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales have had a Recovery Strategy in place since 2011. This year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans brought forward an Action Plan to put that recovery strategy into effect. One of the approaches of the Action Plan is to:
“Develop and implement regulations, guidelines, sanctuaries and other measures to reduce or eliminate physical and acoustic disturbance of Resident Killer Whales”
“Approving a new, major shipping project that must traverse the whales’ critical habitat is exactly the wrong direction to take for the recovery of the SRKW,” said Wristen.
While welcoming the announcement of new research funding for habitat protection, Wristen noted that the research has to come before the approval of new, major projects like the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. The massive increase in tankers and escort vessels that project promises will transform the acoustic environment for Killer Whales. It must also be assessed in the context of the cumulative effects of all of the port growth in and around the Salish Sea.
"Regardless what work-arounds the government tries to come up with, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project remains bad news for whales," said Wristen. "It can't be reconciled with their continued recovery."
Karen Wristen, Executive Director