Coalition Calls on Leaders to Act Immediately to Stop Oil and Gas Exploration in Gulf Of St. Lawrence

Save Our Seas and Shores For Immediate Release

October 4, 2010

PICTOU, NS – Today’s decision by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) to allow seismic blasting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was met with shock and concern by a coalition calling for a moratorium on oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The coalition – made of aboriginal, fishing, and environmental organizations – is calling on municipal, provincial, federal, and aboriginal leaders to act swiftly to halt the testing.

“With this decision, the CNLOPB has approved an activity that could damage this entire precious ecosystem,” according to Mary Gorman of the Save Our Seas and Shores, “We want this decision reversed immediately, and action taken to allow jurisdictions bordering on the Gulf to have a say in its future.”

“Seismic testing could start very soon, potentially damaging marine mammals like blue whales, and disrupting fish and fisheries. This approval has given oil and gas as a toehold in the Gulf that could lead to full scale drilling,” according to Danielle Giroux of Attention Fragile (Magdalen Islands). “Fishermen I work for need more say over protecting the Gulf. We want the CNLOPB’s decision reversed immediately.”

“An oil spill in the Gulf of St. Lawrence would impact fish stocks and coastal communities in Quebec, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,and Newfoundland. Moreover, the national importance of this ecosystem must be upheld.” says Gretchen Fitzgerald of the Sierra Club Canada – Atlantic Chapter. “ Federal laws to protect endangered species and fish habitat recognize the importance of protecting our shared biodiversity and resources. This decision is not reflecting this shared responsibility or concerns expressed by groups around the Gulf.”