The newly minted Blue Whale Campaign is rushing to the aid of this gentle giant in our Gulf.
Although blue whales made the endangered species list in 2005, their critical habitat has yet to be formally identified, opening its vital feeding and breeding grounds to offshore fossil fuel development.
The Old Harry oil prospect, 80km off Newfoundland’s west coast and 460 metres underwater, is expected to be drilled in 2015 by the Halifax based Corridor Resources. This oil prospect happens to be located in the Laurentian Channel, which houses the North Atlantic’s largest known concentration of krill, the blue whale’s nearly exclusive source of food.
“In my opinion, the Gulf contains critical habitat for the endangered blue whale even though it has not yet been identified,” said Mary Gorman with the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition, a parent organization of the Blue Whale Campaign.
If successful in its search for fossil fuels, Corridor Resources will open the door to other offshore projects in the region. Besides potential oil spills, these projects threaten the blue whale with extensive seismic testing, collisions with oil tankers and destruction of food stocks.
Organizers Zack Metcalfe and Colin Jeffrey are spearheading the Blue Whale Campaign, bringing public awareness to the dangers posed by fossil fuel development in the Gulf.
“With a population so small, the slightest misstep at Old Harry could spell the end of the blue whale,” said Metcalfe, a journalist volunteering full time with the Sierra Club Atlantic. The ultimate goal of this campaign is to establish a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Gulf.
“The more you know about our incredible Gulf of St Lawrence, the harder you will work to protect it,” said Jeffrey, a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Master of Resource and Environmental Management program. He’s spend the last two years working in defence of the Gulf, volunteering with the Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition.
In order to promote their message, organizers of the Blue Whale Campaign are seeking your help. The campaign now has a webpage on which concerned members of the public can donate to support the cause. You can become a “Krill Donor” with as little as $10, or a “Cod Donor” for $20 and work your way up the food chain. The campaign’s ultimate goal is $10,000 in donations by August 20. All donations are tax deductible.
To learn more about the blue whale campaign or to donate, please visit bluewhale.causevox.com.
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