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Thursday, January 25, 2007

FUNDY SUPERPORT IS HAPPENING - A GRIM REALITY FOR RIGHT WHALES


Photo from capecodonline.com.

In 2006, we lost 6 whales, most of them in or near the Bay of Fundy. Now there is a serious entanglement and another death off Georgia. One wonders if there is indeed any hope for the embattled 300 or so Northern Right Whales left in North Atlantic waters.

Mark Dittrick of Sierra Club Canada currently is lecturing up and down the coast on this very topic. His point is that the increasing numbers of ships entering the Bay of Fundy to service refineries, aggregate quarries, and LNG terminals represents a huge increase in the pressure on Right Whales, particularly in the Bay of Fundy. Since ship strikes are the primary cause of mortalities for Right Whales, it is clear that there will be a simple relationship: more ships - more ship strikes. More ship strikes - more mortalities.

Today's Telegraph Journal out of Saint John, New Brunswick announced the doubling of Irving Oil's refinery capacity. Check out the present shipping into Saint John and you will see that Port traffic is already steady, significant and apparently growing. Double the refinery ships, add a few hundred more ships going into the new LNG terminal, another 100 or so to the quarry at Digby Neck, and as many as 400 LNG tankers projected for two proposed terminals in Passamaquoddy Bay, and this spells real trouble for Right Whales in their summer home at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy.

Fundy Superport will be a reality it seems and no amount of PR or strategic alliances between the "Whale Set" and industry will offset the grim reality of what will be coming if this occurs. DAMN THE WHALES! LET THE MONEY FLOW!

Art

2 comments:

  1. Good observations, Art! This bad news on the heals of some good news out of the U.S. that a male Right whale had be successfully freed from fishing gear off the coast of Georgia. It's enough to make your head spin...
    Terri bayoffundy.blogspot.com

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  2. whoops, Art, it was off North Carolina. See story: http://conservationreport.blogspot.com/2007/01/endangered-species-workers-free-tangled.html

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