Mount Polley tailings spill effects could last for decades Publish Date: 14-SEP-2014 11:52 AM Next spring, the sockeye eggs that are now being laid in spawning beds throughout the Fraser River system will hatch and the young fish – by the hundreds of millions – will migrate into lakes to rear. And that, at least in one lake, could be a disaster. Quesnel Lake, into which 24 million cubic metres of water and mine tailings flushed when the Mount Polley tailings dam burst, is one of the biggest and most important sockeye nurseries in the province.
Terminal pétrolier et bélugas : voix discordante à Pêches et Océans (French) Publish Date: 04-SEP-2014 02:15 PM Les forages que TransCanada veut faire à Cacouna ont fait couler beaucoup d'encre, mais au-delà de ces travaux, c'est tout le projet de terminal pétrolier et le trafic maritime accru qu'il générera qui «risquent d'avoir des effets négatifs» sur les bélugas. Et ce ne sont pas des militants de Greenpeace qui le disent, mais bien des scientifiques de Pêches et Océans dans un «avis» récent.
Science Inc. Publish Date: 29-AUG-2014 11:39 AM Prime Minister Stephen Harper had another frosty message for scientists last week during his annual tour of Canada’s North. Peppered throughout the usual patriotic rhetoric were some key code words reinforcing his government’s agenda for publicly funded research. It’s simple, really. Science in the aid of industry is all that matters. Everything else is a burden or a waste of time.
Where’s the fight for our fishery ? Publish Date: 20-AUG-2014 03:03 PM If the government of the U.S.A. and the fishing fleets of foreign countries behaved in their fishery like they do here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Americans would have a civil uprising; it would never be allowed to take place.
Canada plans to challenge NAFTA agency’s push for oil sands probe Publish Date: 13-AUG-2014 10:13 AM Complaint alleges Environment Canada isn't enforcing the Fisheries Act in the oil sands. Canada appears headed for a showdown with NAFTA's environmental agency following its decision to recommend an investigation into the enforcement of the Fisheries Act in the Alberta oil sands. The Commission on Environmental Cooperation's secretariat notified Canada that it was recommending an investigation, also known as a factual record, on enforcement of the Fisheries Act in the oil sands on July 29, but the secretariat’s decision was not made public until August 7.
Océans : le mercure grimpe (French) Publish Date: 12-AUG-2014 10:34 AM En janvier 2013, à Genève, 130 pays ont signé une convention visant à réduire la pollution au mercure, métal toxique qui s’accumule dans la chaîne alimentaire et qui influe sur le système nerveux et le développement. L’objectif est d’en limiter considérablement les émissions. Mais l’environnement est déjà durablement contaminé, à commencer par le milieu marin. Une étude internationale (États-Unis, France, Pays-Bas), publiée le 7 août dans la revue Nature, montre que la concentration de mercure dans les eaux de surface de presque tous les océans a triplé du fait des rejets d’origine humaine.
Salmon near B.C. mine spill to be tested Publish Date: 12-AUG-2014 10:29 AM First Nations health officials are preparing to test salmon near the site of a massive mine tailing spill in British Columbia amid fears in aboriginal communities that fish from affected lakes and rivers aren't safe to eat. Environment Canada has also started its own investigation.
NAFTA environmental body wants to probe oilsands Publish Date: 08-AUG-2014 09:37 AM Investigators from an environmental watchdog set up as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement want to investigate whether Canada is enforcing its laws on toxic leakage from giant oilsands tailings ponds.Canada has already told the Commission on Environmental Cooperation that it doesn't have that right. The disagreement sets up a second fight between the Harper government and the three-nation body intended to ensure free trade doesn't degrade environmental enforcement.
Contaminated water threatens B.C. salmon Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 08:10 AM Officials are worried that water contaminated after a tailings pond in B.C. burst its dam could seriously impact fish stocks. A good portion of this year's sockeye run could be affected by the massive tailings pond spill at the Mount Polley mine early Monday, officials fear. At least five million cubic metres of tailings slurry from the copper and gold mine breached an earthen dam and rushed downstream towards two lakes. On Wednesday, the DFO said the sockeye — between 845,000 to 2.95 million fish — are “currently migrating ” towards the Quesnel Lake system.
Citizen scientists to help University of Victoria measure radiation Publish Date: 06-AUG-2014 08:01 AM A network of citizen scientists along the B.C. coast is being recruited to help researchers measure the potential risk of low-level radiation arriving from Japan after the tsunami and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen is leading a $630,000 project to test water and seafood over the next three years.
Energy regulator reviews easing Arctic drilling rules Publish Date: 22-JUL-2014 10:16 AM Canada’s national energy regulator is reviewing whether to ease longstanding safety rules surrounding deep water oil exploration in the Arctic. The National Energy Board announced the mid-summer review, potentially drifting from a long-standing Arctic policy still in effect in the United States that requires companies to drill emergency relief wells to contain spewing oil in case of a blowout.
Executive Director of ELA offers update on facility Publish Date: 16-JUL-2014 02:47 PM With research underway and a new board of directors in place, things are looking up at the Experimental Lakes Area."We're really happy with the board we have put together," says Matt McCandless, who is the CEO. "The ELA has always been known for water research excellence, and we have board members who bring that. But now that the Experimental lakes Area is run by the IISD, there is a business dimension we need to consider.
Dreaded Asian Carp the target of new Ontario lab Publish Date: 07-JUL-2014 08:53 AM Canada has a new tool to battle the spread of an insatiable invasive species: an Asian carp research lab that’s the first of its kind in the country. Researchers say the Burlington, Ont.-based lab at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW) will be an integral part of the battle against a fish that threatens to decimate food sources for native species in North America. The facility was formally unveiled Monday.
Feds Quintuple allowed Catch on Endangered Salmon Species Publish Date: 27-JUN-2014 02:30 PM Fisheries and Oceans Canada is allowing commercial fishermen to catch five times as many endangered coho salmon in anticipation of this year's massive sockeye run on the Fraser River. Conservationists are outraged with the federal decision, which they say will further threaten the coho species in the rush to allow fishermen a greater catch during the annual sockeye return.
Report warns world's fragile oceans pushed to point of collapse Publish Date: 23-JUN-2014 02:23 PM The Global Ocean Commission has put forward a report on the declining health of the planet’s high seas, the 64 per cent of the ocean surface that isn’t under the control and protection of a national government. The commission is a combination of public and private sector figures, including former heads of state and ministers as well as business people, supported by scientific and economic advisors working on ways to reverse the degradation of the ocean and address the failures of high seas governance. Their report sets out five main problems, from dramatic over-fishing to rising pollution, and a set of recommendations for reversing the decline.
Ottawa withholding data on B.C. salmon farms: report Publish Date: 16-JUN-2014 10:55 AM The federal government is hampering scientific research on fish diseases by refusing to release all of the data gathered from salmon farms on the West Coast, a new report by the University of Victoria has concluded.
Oil, gas exploration may harm Gulf, scientists warn Publish Date: 09-JUN-2014 02:57 PM A new report argues that, with federal science cuts and policy changes, Canadians don’t have enough scientific knowledge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to allow for safe oil and gas exploration there. A lack of research and newly-relaxed environmental assessment regulations leave too much unknown, wrote the co-authors of the St. Lawrence Coalition report, all of whom are scientists working for environmental organizations. For example, the decline of the beluga population in the area “should trigger the alarm” that more work is needed to understand contaminants currently in Gulf waters, as well as the effects of climate change, says the report. Nine conservation groups from Eastern Canada signed the report.
David Suzuki: The challenge of sustaining our oceans Publish Date: 03-JUN-2014 08:22 AM June 8 is World Oceans Day. It's a fitting time to contemplate humanity's evolving relationship with the source of all life. For much of human history, we've affected marine ecosystems primarily by what we've taken out of the seas. The challenge as we encounter warming temperatures and increasing industrial activity will be to manage what we put into them. As a top predator, humans from the tropics to the poles have harvested all forms of marine life, from the smallest shrimp to the largest whales, from the ocean's surface to its floor. The staggering volume of fish removed from our waters has had a ripple effect through all ocean ecosystems. Yet the ocean continues to provide food for billions of people, and improved fishing practices in many places, including Canada, are leading to healthier marine-life populations. We're slowly getting better at managing what we catch to keep it within the ocean's capacity to replenish. But while we may be advancing in this battle, we're losing the war with climate change and pollution.
Harper government holds up UN guidelines protecting small-scale fisheries Publish Date: 02-JUN-2014 08:04 AM What is it about the Harper government's special kink about fisheries -- and the media's failure to hold it to account for its unrelenting assault on it and everything related to it (including environment, foreign affairs and the abuse of Parliament) -- which, more than anything, reveals the government's nasty streak?
Consider this episode of fisheries-related Harperism on the international stage. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has drafted guidelines, after five years of member-state consultations, to promote small-scale fisheries worldwide, with the emphasis on sustainability and food security in impoverished countries. Of nearly 100 countries involved, guess which is the only one not signing -- and thereby holding up the procedure under UN rules of unanimity, which could well scuttle it?
Chalk River Nuclear Scientists Hold Information Picket outside AECL
Publish Date: 25-SEP-2014 03:11 PM
On September 9, 2014, Chalk River scientists held an info picket outside Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) facilities to draw attention to the Government-owned Contractor-operated management model - semi-privatization of the laboratories.
Recent reports of drugs in our drinking water might have some people heading for the bottled water aisle of their nearest grocery store, but in most parts of Canada, choosing bottled water over tap is a matter of taste or convenience, not health.