Welcome to Oceana Canada’s inaugural Ocean Headlines. We know that to protect our oceans, it’s essential to access the latest news on the issues affecting them. So, starting now, Oceana Canada will share a monthly roundup of the top ocean news stories to keep you updated on the latest shifts in environmental issues, policies and actions that are having the biggest impact here in Canada and around the world.
August saw rising sea surface temperatures, impacting entire ocean ecosystems. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) delayed rebuilding the largest herring population in Canada, and whales on both coasts faced a series of threats to their survival. Learn more:
Warm oceans spelling trouble for Cape Breton ecosystems, threatening natural disasters
SaltWire, August 1
Rising sea temperatures are raising concerns for ocean ecosystems and marine life, especially for species like salmon and eels that migrate between two habitats (ocean and rivers) and face stresses in both environments due to changing water temperatures. Read more.
Scientists say ropeless technology could help save right whales
CapeCod.com, August 2
A 13-year-old North Atlantic right whale and son of “Ravine” was spotted on July 15 with fishing lines caught in its mouth and fresh wounds on its tail in waters northwest of Prince Edward Island. This incident has prompted a call for bolder measures from the government to protect these whales, such as implementing ropeless or “on-demand” fishing technology. Read more
The risks associated with test drilling for oil in a crab fishing ground
CBC The Broadcast, August 2
Listen to an interview with Oceana’s Sarah Giltz, focusing on the risks associated with test drilling for oil on crab fishing grounds. She explains that it has the same risks as commercial drilling, from pollution, the risk of oil spilling and noise pollution, all of which alter the marine environment. Listen now
DFO delays rebuilding of largest herring population in Canada, jeopardizing recovery and the ecosystem
Oceans North, August 15
Despite its population being in the critical zone since 2017, DFO opened the spring herring commercial fishery this year, setting a quota of 21,000 tonnes – way above its science recommendation. DFO has failed to follow science or account for the long-term benefit of rebuilding this forage stock, which would benefit the ocean ecosystem. Read more
Death of the whales: Expected ship traffic to LNG Canada port could see whale deaths also rise GlobalResearch.ca, Mongabay; August 18
A recent paper uses whale movement data and predicted ship traffic modeling to conclude that with the development of the LNG terminal, two fin whales and 18 humpback whales could be killed each year in ship strikes in Gitga’at territorial waters. The study projects increased shipping traffic in northern British Columbia as a result of the LNG project, in waterways that are critical habitat for humpback, fin and killer whales. Read more
Supermarkets are being asked to cut plastic waste. What would that look like?
CBC, August 27, 2023
Faced with a rising tide of plastic waste, the federal government is pursuing a plan to get supermarkets to cut down on their use of plastic packaging. In August, Ottawa introduced a policy that would require Canada’s largest supermarket chains to develop and roll out plans to cut their plastic waste footprint. The new packaging policy will target a wide range of disposable plastic packaging in stores, such as condiment bottles, squeezable baby food packets, plastic pet food sacks, clamshell containers, milk bags and shrink-wrap on vegetables and meat. Read more