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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Enbridge’s Oil Spill Response Plan (Doesn’t) Tell Us

With the election mere days away and oil tankers shaping up to be a major voting issue in B.C., it’s surprising that the Conservative party still supports introducing crude oil tankers to B.C.’s North Coast and Enbridge’s extremely controversial Northern Gateway project.

We found yet another reason why the Conservatives might want to rethink their position.

Well, it might not be quite that dramatic, but it's still pretty scary. Enbridge recently released their General Oil Spill Response Plan (GOSRP) for the Northern Gateway Project. Unfortunately, the plan is like an extended warranty – not worth the paper it’s written on. It’s thick on words. Thin on actions.

Witty Title Goes Here

Well, that was quite the hiatus.

Why has Water Blogged been silent these past two weeks? Well, I got a bad haircut. Obviously blogging was out of the question until it grew out.

Jake wasn't available because he heard a scary noise outside of his house one night and refused to come out of his bedroom for nearly a week afterward.

But to paraphrase James Brown: We're back. We're back. We're back. We're back. We're back. And we're here to remind you that there are things going on outside of the election and the NHL playoffs.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U.S. Military: Climate Saviour?

I'm an American living in Canada. How'd that happen? Well, I was living in Maine, and one day I was really hungry. I smelled maple syrup, and I just kept following it.

It could happen to anyone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Over 770 letters on behalf of sharks and turtles! Way to go!

Last week we asked you to send a letter to the CEO of Marine Stewardship Council and to Moody Marine Ltd. to express your concerns regarding potential MSC certification of the Canadian longline swordfish fishery.

Well, the public comment period ended yesterday, but they sure got an earful! Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of concerned individuals like you, over 770 letters were sent.

Thanks, friends! By the way...would you happen
to have any squid on you, perchance?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

From Japan With Love, and possibly some radiation

Those who live on the west coast of North America are no strangers to marine debris from Japan washing up on our doorstep. From barnacle-coated trash to coveted glass fishing floats, oriental flotsam gathers on our shores every spring. In 2014 though, beachcombers can likely expect a glut of debris specifically set adrift by the devastating tsunami which hit Japan on March 11th. This according to a model by researchers at the University of Hawaii (below).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tell MSC that a fishery that catches 100,000+ sharks and hundreds of sea turtles is not 'sustainable'

A fishery notorious for its bycatch of sharks and sea turtles is close to snagging something they actually want: a coveted eco-label from the Marine Stewardship Council.

The Atlantic Canada longline swordfish fishery - aka the "fishery for unwanted sharks mostly, and sometimes swordfish, and all too often turtles" - has been recommended for MSC certification by Moody Marine Ltd., a company that conducts assessments for the MSC process.

All is not yet lost, though: the public comment period is open until April 11, and this is your chance to make your voice heard. Your effort can have a real, positive impact for sea turtles and sharks in Atlantic Canada.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our fashion advice for this spring? Skip the stingray 'leather'

This weekend, Living Oceans Society found itself in uncharted waters: giving advice on fashion trends in the Fashion and Beauty section of a major newspaper.

Check it out: there we are in the Globe and Mail, right alongside supermodels, world-famous designers, and other sorts who wouldn't associate with us in the real world.

Such as this designer, who is shown
viewing our staff photo

Friday, April 1, 2011

Plastification of our seas

Plastic... where to begin? Call me Ishmael? No, that's been done before. Given the size of the problem though, it seems only fitting to make leviathan references. Instead, I'll start at what is clearly the logical starting point for such a discussion: a picture of a sea turtle.
Green sea turtle - chilling out in the weeds (Photo:

 A green sea turtle, to be precise. This turtle was recently in the news when an examination of a juvenile captured off Argentina revealed it had a belly full of plastic debris. This is a common problem for sea turtles as outlined in a Marine Turtle Newsletter editorial. Young turtles often find themselves in the same places as floating plastic debris, and being indiscriminate eaters, they scarf down large quantities this garbage (real garbage, that is, not the kind John eats while he's blogging). Between their high-plastic diet and entanglement in abandoned fishing gear, marine debris can lead to young turtles' untimely demise.