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Oct 30, 2006
This message is posted as a courtesy by the Vancouver Humane Society. Forwarding this information does not necessarily imply VHS affiliation or endorsement.

Seismic tests threaten BC marine life – letters needed today


The following is an urgent message from Cetacealab, a non-profit whale research station on the north coast of BC:


A research project, called the "Batholiths" has proposed to conduct seismic testing along the inside passages of Northern and Central BC for September 2007. The vessel will tow an array 3 km long and blast sound every 20 to 30 seconds, for a 3 week period. The sound is of unimaginable power and has been compared to that of a shotgun blast MULTIPLIED by 10,000 times!!

These blasts have the potential to cause deafness or death to marine mammals, fish and invertebrates. This includes salmon, herring, octopus, squid, bears, wolves, sea lions, otters, dolphins and whales.

Our research indicates that the proposed timing of the seismic testing is the worst possible as it coincides with the peak abundance of humpback whales in our study area. The whales come into the inside channels to feed before they start their annual migration to Hawaii. Any disruptions may prevent them from successfully reaching their calving grounds or returning to these essential feeding locations next season.

Our recent research findings suggest that we have a number of pregnant female humpback whales feeding in the narrow inside channels surrounding Cetacealab. Northern Resident Orcas and Transient Orcas also frequent the area of the proposed seismic tests. Humpback whales and Orcas are considered a threatened species and are protected under the Species at Risk Act.

We have repeatedly tried to convince the scientists of the Batholiths project to abandon their plan, with no success. For this reason we would like to ask for your help.

Relevant federal Canadian authorities will allow public input until October 31st, before they make a decision whether or not they will allow this project to go ahead.

Please see the prepared letter below, which we would like you to fill in your name and send to the e-mail address which is listed in the document header. Please pass it on to your family, friends and co-workers. You may also want to personalize the letter to your own needs.


If you have further questions please contact us at
info@whaleresearch.ca (Please send copies of any replies to this address.)

For further information you can also check out these websites:

http://cetacealab.org/blog/awareness.php?cat=27
http://www.raincoast.org/proj-mar-mammals/proj-mar-mam-2.shtml



Sample letter:



[DATE]

Diane Fraser
Environmental Assessment Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa ON K1A 1H5
Telephone: (613) 995-8079
Fax: (613) 943-1222
Email address:
diane.fraser@nserc.ca

CEAR reference number 04-01-748

*** YOUR NAME & ADDRESS******

Dear Diane Fraser,

The proposed Batholiths Project in Northern BC waters has come to my
attention and I would like to express my deep concern. The negative impact of extremely loud sonar sound waves on marine life is well documented, and destructive projects that cause irreversible damage such as this should not be allowed within one of the world's largest remaining intact Rainforest and marine environments.

The deafening sound transmitted by this seismic testing will threaten the health and future populations of salmon, which will be returning to their streams to spawn at this time. The delicate ecological balance of this area, known as the Great Bear Rainforest, is dependent on salmon. Species such as Grizzly Bears, Black & Spirit Bears, Wolves, and Eagles, already marginalized by human activities would suffer catastrophic consequences due
to the disruption of the salmon runs. The damage to other fish species such as Rockfish, Herring, and Halibut would be equally offensive and irreversible.

These waters are also home to recovering populations of Humpback Whales, Orcas, Stellar Sea Lions (all listed as threatened species), Dall's Porpoises, and Pacific White Sided Dolphins. All of these mammals aredependant on fish, and all are considered Residents of the area. Whale populations continue to struggle for survival along the BC coast. After
being hunted to near extinction Humpback Whales have only recently made a come back to this area within the past 15 years. It has been well documented by local villages and researchers that sightings of whales in this area are now almost a daily occurrence.

The seismic testing being proposed will utilize some of the world's loudest air guns to send shock waves through the water and sea floor bottom. The explosive blasts will have grave consequences to the marine life, potentially causing deafness and death. This is completely unacceptable to me. The fish and mammals that survive may not return to these waters again after undergoing such a large amount of distress. I highly recommend putting an end to the Batholiths Project for all of the above reasons.

Sincerely,


*****YOUR NAME********

www.vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca


Imported from external blog

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Posted: Oct 30, 2006 10:52pm

 

 
 
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Melanie B.
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