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FISH-NL calls for halt to seismic testing off Newfoundland and Labrador's coasts

FISH-NL calls for halt to seismic testing off Newfoundland and Labrador's coasts

I think it is unlikely that seismic activity has killed 50% of the plankton in the Northwest Atlantic over the last 5 years. It is much more likely to be pollution from domestic and industrial sources such as the oil industry. The author states that if we lose the plankton then the fishing industry will collapse, this is absolutely correct, however they fail to realise that if we lose the plankton then we lose the planets life support mechanisms and the survival of humanity comes under question.

Ryan Cleary, president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador, speaks to reporters in St. John’s Wednesday.
Ryan Cleary, president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Seismic testing should be halted until more research is done into why plankton productivity in the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador has plunged, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says.

Plankton — more specifically phytoplankton and zooplankton — are at the base of the ocean's food chain. If it isn’t protected, FISH-NL says, fish stocks that the province’s fishery depend upon could be lost.

“It’s highly coincidental that as seismic activity ramped up plankton productivity plunged,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Seismic activity may be necessary for offshore oil and gas development, but it must not come at the expense of our wild fisheries and marine ecosystem — cutting off our nose to spite our face.”

FISH-NL is calling on the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) to suspend offshore seismic work.

In December, a senior scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. John’s revealed that plankton productivity in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador has plunged by 50 per cent in the past four or five years.

FISH-NL notes that seismic activity in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador has increased dramatically in recent years.

“If plankton isn’t protected you might as well say goodbye to the fish,” said Cleary.

He said it is ironic that DFO has adopted “a so-called precautionary approach in fisheries management, which is about being cautious when scientific knowledge is uncertain.”

“There’s nothing precautionary about super-sized seismic activity,” Cleary said. “It’s just the opposite.”

About the author

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Dryden has unique knowledge combination of biology, chemistry and technology and is the inventor of the activated, bio-resistant filter media AFM®. Dr. Dryden is one of the world`s leading experts in sustainable water treatment.

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