Why are creatures like electric rays, which prefer warmer southern California or Baja waters, turning up with greater frequency further north? Unlike land temperatures, which constantly fluctuate, ocean temperatures are usually stable, with virtually no daily changes, little seasonal differentiation and only minor shifts over decades.
Canada was one of many countries at the 2010 UN Convention on Biological Diversity to commit to protecting 10 per cent of its marine areas by 2020. As a marine nation bordering three oceans with over seven million square kilometres of ocean area and the longest coastline of any country, Canada has a responsibility to lead on ocean stewardship. We have acts, policies and departments to support strong positions to safeguard ocean ecosystems. Yet the reality is that more has been said than done.
In British Columbia, salmon are sacred. For centuries, they have nourished First Nations and settlers alike, and continue to sustain virtually all of the wildlife we cherish in B.C.: orcas, eagles, bears, seals and sea lions, wolves and even our forests. Wild salmon make life possible on the West Coast. So why are our federal and provincial governments trying to kill them? I do not speak of simple neglect. I mean actively working towards the destruction of wild salmon.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The annual seal hunt off Newfoundland and Labrador will open Sunday.The federal Fisheries Department says sealers on the Front off ...
Recent cuts to Environment Canada's operating budget have left the department a shadow of its former self and unable to enforce what little environmental laws are left. The Harper Government has burned enough environmental legislation to keep the Minister warm for an entire winter in her home in chilly Gjoa Haven. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.
Scientists are calling it "libricide." Seven of the nine world-famous Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO] libraries were closed by autumn 2013, ostensibly to digitize the materials and reduce costs. But sources told the independent Tyee in December that a fraction of the 600,000-volume collection had been digitized. Irreplaceable documents like the 50 volumes produced by the H.M.S. Challenger expedition of the late 1800s that discovered thousands of new sea creatures, are now moldering in landfills.
There was plenty of evidence presented to the Senate Committee that a cull of grey seals would be scientifically risky, unethical, and expensive. Yet, on Tuesday, the senate recommended one anyway. In addition to scientists and sealers -- most Canadians are also opposed to a seal cull. First, It is unlikely that a cull in Eastern Canada would have a substantial positive effect on cod populations. Second, that the majority of grey seal diets consists of fatty forage fish such as herring, sand lance, and other small fish, and therefore they would not expect much, if any, benefit of culling seals on cod.
The Harper government is waging war on Canada's fresh water. Industry will now have unprecedented influence over water protection policy and the Harper cabinet will make decisions about which watersheds deserve protection based on political, not scientific, grounds. What a travesty Harper has decided to sacrifice our freshwater heritage in order to please his industry friends.
Recently, leaked information has shown that the Canadian government is considering drastic changes to section 35(1) of the Fisheries Act, removing provisions that prevent any industrial activities which "result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat." So, why should you care?
Half the world's oxygen is produced in the oceans yet the federal government recently rejected millions of dollars in funding for a collaborative effort to establish a marine spatial plan and network of protected areas in Canada's Pacific North Coast waters. Why? Because it might restrict oil tanker traffic.
One of the first lessons I learned from First Nations communities was about the importance of respect. Without respect for each other, we don't listen and we fail to learn. But respect should extend beyond our fellow humans, to all the green things that capture the sun's energy and power the rest of life on Earth.