VANCOUVER—Groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project today expressed their concern in the face of a major change to safety requirements proposed for a port assessed by Transport Canada as having the highest risk of any existing Canadian port for an oil spill. The change would reduce by up to 70 percent the requirement for pilots to board ships outside Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, before entering the busy port.
VANCOUVER—Top North American seafood organizations have given a stamp of approval for the first time to several of B.C.’s groundfish fisheries. Today’s recommendations from the U.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s (MBA) Seafood Watch Program and Canada’s SeaChoice program, combined with earlier Marine Stewardship Council recommendations, mean that over 88 per cent of groundfish caught in Canada’s Pacific waters can be recommended to consumers. Six years ago, the same organizations recommended avoiding most of the fish caught by the province’s largest fishery.
VANCOUVER—This week, groups are marking the anniversary of the Joint Review Panel’s recommendation to approve Enbridge’s controversial pipeline and tanker project with a retrospective index.
“One year after the hearings concluded, the opposition to Enbridge’s pipeline and tankers is as strong as ever,” said Gerald Amos of the Friends of Wild Salmon. “Enbridge has failed to win social licence for the project or meet any of its 209 conditions, and British Columbians and First Nations are pulling together to stop the project in the courts.”
OTTAWA—The Government of Panama has fined the company AquaBounty for breaching numerous national environmental laws during its ongoing research and development of a genetically modified (GM) Atlantic salmon. The GM fish eggs were shipped from Canada, provoking fears of environmental contamination in both countries.
“This is an incredibly risky technology that threatens the future of wild Atlantic salmon,” said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), “These corporate violations expose how easy it would be for containment of this GM fish to fail.”
Living Oceans lambasted the federal government today for its repeated failure to provide for safe navigation on B.C.’s North Coast, citing the imminent risk of the container ship Simushir grounding along the treacherous outer coast of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
“The failure to provide for rescue tug capacity on the North Coast puts these incredibly sensitive marine ecosystems at unacceptable risk from shipping,” said Executive Director Karen Wristen.
VANCOUVER—Living Oceans Society applauds the report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Julie Gelfand, released today in Ottawa. “Commissioner Gelfand’s criticism of the federal government’s lack of progress on climate change is richly deserved, particularly in response to the Conservative’s failure to move forward with promised regulation of emissions from the oil and gas sector,” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director of Living Oceans Society.
VANCOUVER—The federal Cabinet’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline proposal is no guarantee that the controversial project will ever be built, environmental groups said today.
“Eighteen months of regulatory hearings made one thing clear: Northern Gateway is a risky and unnecessary project that does not serve the national interest of Canada or Canadians,” said Ecojustice staff lawyer Barry Robinson.
Living Oceans delivered a scathing rebuke of the federal government’s announcement today on tanker safety.
“Most of this is not news,” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director. “What is new is bad news for taxpayers.”
SOINTULA, B.C.—Farmed Atlantic salmon were estimated to be present in over half of surveyed rivers and streams according to modeling conducted for an article recently published online in the journal Biological Invasions. Living Oceans is calling on Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea to stop approving new net-cage salmon farms until she can provide the public with clear evidence that Canada’s rivers are not being colonized by invasive species.