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CPAWS welcomes extension of oil and gas moratorium on Georges Bank

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS) applauds the announcement by the Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada on the decision to extend the moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling on Georges Bank.

“Georges Bank is an important ecosystem sustaining significant fishing grounds worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Canadian economy,” said Rodrigo Menafra, Marine Conservation Coordinator for CPAWS-NS. “It’s not the kind of place where we should be taking needless risks associated with oil and gas development, particularly in light of the current ecological disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.”  

CPAWS is calling on the federal government and provincial jurisdictions to extend similar moratoria that are in place elsewhere in Canada, including along the coast of British Columbia.

“It’s a huge mistake to rush into oil and gas exploration in our fragile ocean environments, without proper safeguards,” says Sabine Jessen, CPAWS National Manager of Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes. “In British Columbia, a gushing oil spill could destroy ancient glass sponge reefs and massive seabird colonies, along with countless fish stocks and marine mammals. We simply can’t risk it.”
Canada needs to seek and implement best practices across-the-board when it comes to oil and gas exploration. CPAWS is very concerned about potential oil and gas development in the Arctic, where it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to contain a catastrophic spill, due to ice cover and the remote locations.

CPAWS is Canada’s leading grassroots voice for wilderness conservation. We are a non-governmental organization working to protect at least half of Canada’s natural environment and over the past 45 years have played a lead role in securing at least two thirds of Canada’s protected areas.

Contact information:
Rodrigo Menafra
Marine Conservation Coordinator
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-NS)
Nova Scotia Chapter
(902) 446-4155