Tag Archives: ocean

US Coast Guard C-130 Hercules and Skyhawk helicopter on standby at Sandspit airport.  The Hercules carried  one of Alaska's Emergency Towing Systems in case it was needed.  (US Coast Guard)

When the Simushir was adrift, Alaska was ready, BC and Canada were not. Here’s why

When the Russian container ship Simushir lost power in heavy weather west of Haida Gwaii last Thursday and driven by westerly winds came dangerously close to the rocky coast, Canada and British Columbia had to scramble to get vessels to the ship and try to tow it out of danger to Prince Rupert. Like all other issues on the west coast, the debate is raging. “Peter Lantin, president of the Haida Nation, told the media at the time, “It was luck.” On Tuesday, Lantin issued another…

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In February, 2008. the crew of HMS Charlottown rescued the crew of a Pakistani barge that was drifting in the North Arabian sea after the tug that was hauling the barge sank. (MCS CHARLOTTETOWN’s approach team speaks to Pakistani crewmembers who were stranded on a barge after the vessel towing it sunk with their fellow crewmembers on board in the Northern Arabian Sea. MCS CHARLOTTETOWN’s approach team speaks to Pakistani crew members who were stranded on a barge after the vessel towing it sunk with their fellow crewmembers on board in the Northern Arabian Sea. (Cpl Robert LeBlanc,/Canadian Forces Combat Camera)

Editorial: On the Simushir, Oceans Minister Gail Shea takes ministerial responsibility to a new low—the bottom of the sea

On Monday, October 20, 2014, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, stood in the House of Commons during Question Period and proved she is not up for the job. Answering questions from  Opposition MPs about the incident of the Russian container ship, Simushir, which drifted dangerously close to the coast of Haida Gwaii, Shea got up and read a prepared script, a script with answers which ignored centuries of the laws and custom of the sea, as well as Canada’s own laws and…

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Map of Bish Cove

Chevron applies to update permit to discharge storm water to Bish Cove and Douglas Channel

Chevron has applied to the BC Ministry of the Environment for a permit to discharge storm water from the liquified natural gas construction site at Bish Cove and along the shore of Douglas Channel. The construction site is currently operating on a Waste Water Discharge Approval that expires on Oct. 31.   The application sets new objectives that “will be protective of the receiving environment.” Various construction areas will discharge storm water (likely due to clearing of the bush cover) from areas at Bish Cove…

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Pteropod

Ocean acidification growing risk to west coast fishery, including crab and salmon, US studies show

The United States says acidification of the oceans means there is an already growing risk to the northwest coast fishery, including crab and salmon, according to studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans, the water is becoming more acidic and that affects many species, especially shellfish, dissolving the shells. A NOAA study released today of environmental and economic risks to the Alaska fishery says: Many of Alaska’s nutritionally and…

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Gerald Amos

The Supreme Court decision on Tsilhqot’in Rights and Title is a shot across the bow of the Alberta bound National Energy Board

The response to the Joint Review Panel decision on the Northern Gateway, beginning in December and continuing until this Canada Day,  both in the public and in the media  is sharply divided by the Rocky Mountains. A lof of  Albertans,   most of  the energy companies and many in the media, especially the Toronto-based business press,  keep telling Canadians that the NEB is an independent, quasi-judicial body, that carefully weighs the scientific and other evidence before coming to a conclusion. Prime Minister Stephen Harper stands…

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Kitimat Council urges heavy turnout for North Coast Draft Marine Plan meeting

District of Kitimat Council  has urged residents to turn out in large numbers for consideration of the North Coast Draft Marine Plan at the Kitimat Valley Institute Tuesday, May 13, from 5:30 to 8:30. In introducing the motion, Mayor Joanne Monaghan said she was worried that not enough Kitimatians, especially charter operators, boaters and fishers were aware of the meeting. Another council member privately said he was worried that the Open House and Forum weren’t publicized enough so that the town could be checked off…

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Ottawa announces upgrades to Douglas Channel, Kitimat, navigation systems

The federal government today announced that it is going to spend $9,127,000 through the Western Diversification Program to support  “the development of Ocean Networks Canada’s (ONC) Smart Oceans BC program” to upgrade radar and other navigation aids on the BC coast. The upgrades include adding the Automatic Identification System (AIS) ship tracking system, which means that those using a web-based ship tracker will be able to monitor major vessel traffic in Douglas Channel. A news release from Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification said:…

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No Enbridge t-shirts

Kitimat votes: High turnout expected for Gateway ballot but what will the results mean to Kitimat?

A high turnout is expected Saturday for the non-binding plebiscite where residents of the District of Kitimat can, perhaps, say yes or no to the Enbridge Northern Gateway project. In some ways, it all depends on how people interpret the convoluted question. Warren Weychasen, Kitimat’s Deputy Administrative Officer said Thursday 910 people voted during advance polls on April 2 and April 9, compared to 470 over the two days of advance voting in the 2011 municipal election. Even who can vote has can be the…

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Kitmat Votes: What the Joint Review Panel said about the Exxon Valdez disaster

Excerpts from the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel report relating to the Exxon Valdez disaster. Northern Gateway told the Joint Reivew Panel that on a worldwide basis, all data sets show a steady reduction in the number and size of oil spills since the 1970s. This decline has been even more apparent since regulatory changes in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which required a phase-in of double-hulled tankers in the international fleet. No double-hulled tanker has sunk since 1990. There have been five incidents…

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Clio Bay reclamation postponed as new contractor takes over at KM LNG

Studies on the Clio Bay reclamation project have been postponed until the fall while the new prime contractor takes over the Kitimat LNG project. A spokesperson for Chevron said at the Kitimat LNG open house on Wednesday now that Irving , Texas-based Fluor Corp, in partnership with a joint-venture partner, Japan’s JGC Corp. has won the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the KM LNG project, it will take some time for the new company to be briefed on the Clio Bay project and then…

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