Oceans

Critics ask why Canada hasn't blocked international trade in 76 endangered species
Publish Date: 10-DEC-2014 08:53 AM
Recently released documents indicate the federal government has reservations about restricting international trade in endangered species — more of them than almost any other government on Earth. The papers show that Canada has opted out of nearly every resolution to protect endangered species taken at last year's meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Delegates from 180 countries voted to extend protections to 76 plant and animal species from soft-shelled turtles to tropical hardwoods.  
 
Dead orca was pregnant with full-term fetus
Publish Date: 08-DEC-2014 08:25 AM
The necropsy on the endangered orca found dead off Vancouver Island showed it was pregnant with a full-term fetus, and that someone removed several teeth from the dead killer whale before it could be examined. Experts had speculated the death may have arisen from birth complications. Biologists are awaiting additional tests to determine the cause of death, with preliminary findings possible later this week. 
 
Fisheries experts caution against raising western bluefin tuna quota
Publish Date: 09-NOV-2014 09:45 AM
Canada could put an already endangered species of tuna at greater risk by asking an international body to raise the quota for the prized fish, say conservationists who want the catch limit to remain the same to allow the stock to rebuild. Katie Schleit of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax said the federal Fisheries Department appears poised to ask for an increase in the quota for western Atlantic Bluefin tuna at a week-long meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas that begins Monday. 
 
Un pétrolier non conforme stoppé sur le Saint-Laurent
Publish Date: 15-OCT-2014 03:03 PM
Le deuxième pétrolier à remonter le Saint-Laurent pour venir charger du pétrole des sables bitumineux à Sorel-Tracy a dû stopper sa route aux Escoumins, après avoir été jugé non conforme à la réglementation canadienne. 
 
Les États ne respectent pas leurs engagements (French)
Publish Date: 07-OCT-2014 11:55 AM
Malgré les engagements internationaux en faveur de la protection de la biodiversité mondiale, la surpêche demeure la norme, la déforestation se poursuit, les milieux humides continuent de disparaître, l’extinction menace de plus en plus d’espèces animales et certaines formes de pollution sont en hausse. 
 
St. Lawrence belugas on verge of population ‘catastrophe’ : researcher
Publish Date: 28-SEP-2014 10:02 AM
A researcher monitoring belugas in the St. Lawrence estuary is warning of a looming "catastrophe" after another difficult calving season for the endangered whale. The belugas have been in a slow population decline for the past decade, according to Robert Michaud, the scientific director of Quebec's Marine Mammals Research and Education Group. 
 
Projet de port pétrolier à Cacouna: un danger pour les bélugas (French)
Publish Date: 28-SEP-2014 09:55 AM
Le chercheur Pierre Béland et l'humoriste océanographe Boucar Diouf étaient à Tout le monde en parle le 28 septembre pour discuter des enjeux soulevés par le projet de port pétrolier à Cacouna par TransCanada. Un jugement de la Cour supérieure ordonnait le 23 septembre la suspension des travaux de forage jusqu'au 15 octobre. 
 
Scientists aboard the Amundsen operate in dangerous conditions while researching sea ice
Publish Date: 28-SEP-2014 09:46 AM
When Arctic sea ice makes the news, the focus is inevitably on quantity. The amount of ice on the ocean in summer is shrinking by 14 per cent a decade, a well-documented effect of climate change. The prospect of a largely ice-free Arctic by mid-century, the impact that will have on the northern environment and its potential effects on weather patterns in much of North America and Eurasia, have raised the profile of sea ice to iconic status in the continuing debate over how the human causes of climate change should be addressed. But for those who study sea ice, what matters most day-to-day is quality rather than quantity. 
 
Energy East oil terminal threatens belugas: federal scientists
Publish Date: 27-SEP-2014 08:59 AM
A stunning Quebec Superior Court injunction that temporarily halted exploratory work on a major cross-Canada oilsands pipeline project is raising fresh questions about whether the Canadian government muzzled a top scientist while reviewing the industry proposal. At least two federal departments, Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, gave a green light for the exploratory work, including major drilling and seismic testing in the port of Cacouna, Quebec, in the heart of the critical habitat of threatened St. Lawrence beluga whales. 
 
Près de la moitié de l’eau de la Terre serait plus vieille que le Soleil ! (French)
Publish Date: 26-SEP-2014 08:46 AM
En étudiant l’origine de l’eau présente dans le Système solaire, des chercheurs viennent de conclure qu’elle se serait formée pour une large part avant la naissance du Soleil et de la Terre. 
 
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. 
 
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. 
 
Huge waves detected in Arctic waters for 1st time
Publish Date: 01-AUG-2014 08:14 AM
Waves rearing as high as the second-floor windows of a building have been detected in the Beaufort Sea for the first time. Arctic waves are normally kept in check by sea ice, which has traditionally covered large areas of the Arctic Ocean even in the summer. But warmer temperatures as a result of climate change are melting away more and more of that ice. 
 
L’Arctique à risque (French)
Publish Date: 26-JUL-2014 10:26 AM
Si un déversement majeur de pétrole devait se produire dans l’ouest de l’océan Arctique au Canada, les répercussions environnementales pourraient se manifester jusqu’en Russie, selon une nouvelle étude. Ces conclusions sont présentées par la division canadienne du World Wildlife Fund (WWF) alors que l’Office national de l’énergie se prépare à étudier des scénarios préventionnistes pour deux projets distincts d’exploration de pétrole dans la mer de Beaufort menés par la Pétrolière impériale et Chevron. 
 
High seas fishing is paralyzing ocean’s natural carbon-removal system, says new study
Publish Date: 21-JUL-2014 10:06 AM
Marine life in the high seas soak up twice as much CO2 from the atmosphere as Canada emits every year, a new study by the Global Ocean Commission revealed last month. This is a vitally important carbon reduction service and worth an estimated $148 billion a year. 
 
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. 
 
Le Saint-Laurent étouffé par l’acidification (French)
Publish Date: 12-JUN-2014 10:56 AM
Le Saint-Laurent souffre particulièrement de l’acidification accélérée de ses eaux. Ce phénomène inévitable, provoqué en bonne partie par les émissions de CO2 issues de la combustion d’énergies fossiles, constitue une menace de plus en plus sérieuse pour l’ensemble de la chaîne alimentaire. 
 
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. 
 
Ministers say salmon not being restored in Fraser River
Publish Date: 21-MAY-2014 01:34 PM
Almost none of the 75 recommendations B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen made on how to restore sockeye stocks in the Fraser River have been acted on by Ottawa, two federal ministers indicate. Critics have long accused the government of failing to follow up on the $26-million Cohen Commission report in a meaningful way. But it wasn’t until Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay recently asked detailed questions about which recommendations were adopted that the government verified the extent of its actions.