Monday, August 9, 2010

Seismic Survey in Lancaster Sound Blocked

Yesterday, a Nunavut court granted an injunction to block the seismic testing that was to be carried out in Lancaster Sound - a proposed National Marine Conservation Area - this summer under the joint German-Canadian Eastern Canadian Arctic Seismic Experiment. However, the block is temporary given that the Federal Government may appeal the block or undertake a second round of consultations with the Inuit communities in the region.

The decision was reached because of the potential impacts on wildlife and local communities. Justice Sue Cooper, the judge behind the ruling, wrote “If the testing proceeds as planned and marine mammals are impacted as Inuit say they will be, the harm to Inuit in the affected communities will be significant and irreversible”. “The loss extends not just to the loss of a food source, but to loss of a culture. No amount of money can compensate for such loss.”

The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the German partner, has accepted the decision and acknowledged that it is a Canadian issue.

We hope this experiment will not proceed in the Arctic and that Lancaster Sound will one day become a National Marine Conservation Area.


barryc said...

It is good news that the Nunavut court has blocked the seismic survey in Lancaster Sound, but why is it left to the Inuit to protect such an important Canadian natural heritage? Surly all caring Canadians should be up in arms on such an issue. After 200 years of such devastating human degradation of the natural world in and around Canada from the total destruction of the Sea Cows and Great Auks to the near annihilation of so many other species I really don't understand why our Government is still on the side of greed instead of the side of conservation and