Thursday, November 25, 2010

CREATURES: Any smart animals around the Bay of Fundy?

Find out here!

20 Smartest Animals in the World
Posted on November 15, 2010 by admin

Are parrots really smarter than a 3-year-old child? Do pigs really sing to their young? Do elephants really bury their dead and visit the graves of their relatives? Humans have always considered ourselves the smartest creatures on Earth, but new research has revealed that other animals are much smarter than we ever thought possible. Here are the 20 smartest animals in the world: More here ...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sister Blog "Fundy Whale" Honored

No videos or pictures in your ILQW email? See them at

Our sister blog "Fundy Whale" has been chosen as one of the "Top 101 Blogs to Inspire You To Protect Endangered Species". 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

AQUACULTURE: Salmon farmers temporarily allowed use of pesticide

Get the pictures and subscribe at:

Fishermen complain that deltamethrin not only kills sea lice, but lobsters and other crustaceans. (Photo: Alexandra Morton)
Monday, October 25, 2010, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

New Brunswick (NB) has obtained permission from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency for fishers to use a restricted pesticide against sea lice in Atlantic salmon farms as an emergency use between 15 October and 31 December 2010.

The main chemical ingredient of the pesticide Alphamax is deltamethrin, which some worry will kill lobsters and other crustaceans in addition to the sea lice. Lobster fishers were therefore dismayed by Health Canada’s decision.

The farmed salmon industry intends to begin the use of Alphamax in the Bay of Fundy this week on farmed fish infested by sea lice.

Health Canada said Alphamax treatments can be used only on tarped cages or contained areas also known as well boats. The salmon is placed in the boats before being bathed in a concentration of Alphamax and then transferred back to the cages with the bath water.

The industry ideally wishes to be allowed to apply a rotation of pesticides so the sea lice do not get a chance to become tolerant to any of the particular chemicals, said Nell Halse of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, reports CBC News.

"That whole process, from our farmers' point of view, takes too long," she explained. "We needed these treatments, a whole suite of them, in the spring when sea lice first started showing up on our farms.”

"If we'd had three to four different treatments that we could rotate around to deal with the different stages of sea lice, we would've been in good shape last spring," she added.

But the industry has been having a difficult time trying to contain an especially burdensome sea lice infestation due to the high ocean temperatures in the summer. Health Canada’s approval of the use of Alphamax in the farms followed an extended risk assessment, Halse told.

Meanwhile, the Traditional Fisheries Coalition made a verbal request to the federal organisation to suspend the use of chemicals in the Bay of Fundy, reports The Telegraph-Journal.

"All treatments need to stop given that the lobster are at a very critical point and that the juveniles in the water are everywhere ... this isn't acceptable," said Melanie Sonnenberg, project manager of the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association, which belongs to the Coalition.

Further, Matthew Abbott, a member of the Fundy Baykeeper Project, believes the industry is to blame for its sea lice troubles because they are linked to the long-term use of pesticides in the farms. Consequently, implementing more chemicals is counterproductive.

"I think it goes to show that the problem isn't being solved," he said. "Instead of funding sustainable practices that don't lead to these massive sea lice outbreaks, they just keep adding new chemicals."

By Natalia Real

AQUACULTURE: Fish farms ask for another study on pesticide

Lobster TrapImage via WikipediaLast Updated: Friday, October 29, 2010 | 12:21 PM AT Comments26Recommend11
CBC News

Lobsters were found dead after being exposed to a pesticide that is being used to battle sea lice in fish farms. (CBC)

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association is asking Environment Canada to launch a second study on lobster exposure to deltamethrin in the Bay of Fundy.

The chemical is the active ingredient in the pesticide Alphamax, which had been approved for use for a limited time on fish farms in New Brunswick.

Earlier this week the federal department shut down use of the pesticide in open fish farm cages after some lobsters died on the first day of a trial.

Environment Canada officials carried out their own study in which they released lobsters in a tarped cage undergoing pesticide treatment, then towed the lobsters through the water as the pesticide dissipated.

Some lobsters died in the trial, and as a result the federal department halted the use of Alphamax treatments in open water.

Pamela Parker, the executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, said the test scenario they put the lobsters through isn't realistic.

"I was frankly shocked that they put lobster directly in the net pen, and not surprised they died," Parker said.

As well, Parker said, the lobsters weren't properly assessed for their health.

This development comes just days after groups from new Brunswick and Nova Scotia came together to form the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform.

While the pesticide can no longer be used in the salmon cages, Environment Canada is still allowing Alphamax treatments of farmed fish to be done in contained areas called well boats.

Scientists with the provincial government have also been monitoring the tests and the use of the pesticide.

Matthew Abbott, a spokesman for the Fundy Baykeeper, an environmental organization, said he's concerned about the effects on smaller lobsters, considering the result of the testing.

"If large adult lobster are killed by this, one can imagine what it can do to lobster larvae," Abbott said.

The fish farmers association wants Environment Canada to try the experiment again by placing lobsters in a more realistic scenario, underneath and around the cages during treatment.

There's no word on whether the federal department might grant that request.

Read more:

ENVIRONMENT:Bay of Fundy's Grindstone Island becomes Nature Preserve

Get the pictures and subscribe at:

Grindstone Island now a nature preserve

Published Saturday October 30th, 2010


A historic partnership between Nature Trust of New Brunswick, the Parish of Sackville and the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton has ensured the preservation of Grindstone Island, the only island in the upper Bay of Fundy and a bird sanctuary, for generations to come.

The creation of the Grindstone Island Nature Preserve will be announced officially today at the Cape Enrage Nature Preserve during the annual meeting of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

The 50-acre island that once served as an important stone quarry for building projects as far away as Moncton and acts as site of an important lighthouse station is also recognized as ecologically unique. The island is recognized internationally as a component of the Shepody Bay Important Bird Area, the Shepody Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network and the Shepody Wetland of International Significance.

It serves a nesting area for the peregrine falcon population that has been restored to the Bay of Fundy and home to the largest great blue heron colony in the province of New Brunswick as well as a small colony of nesting eider ducks, breeding herring gull, great black backed gull and double-crested cormorant, said wildlife biologist Colin MacKinnon.

The partnership comes after years of negotiation and discussion to conclude with a conservation easement agreement with the Nature Trust that requires development of a management plan to monitor the fragile environment and set limits on activities on the island.

A portion of the island is already protected by Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service and the adjacent Shepody National Wildlife Area.The Parish of Sackville retains ownership of the island.

"From the beginning of our negotiations with the Nature Trust, the Parish of Sackville was motivated by the concept of stewardship. The Parish took the view that stewardship takes many forms and that we are called to be active in environmental preservation as well as the pastoral, social justice and spiritual work with which the Church is more frequently associated," said Reverend Canon Kevin Stockall.

Monday, November 1, 2010

ENERGY: Sackville not shutting door on oil and gas

Get the pictures and subscribe at:

Detail of Tower for drilling horizontally into...Image via WikipediaBy Katie Tower, Transcontinental Media

Source: The Sackville Tribune, October 29, 2010

[SACKVILLE, NS] — Sackville may have denied a gas exploration company the rights to drill on municipal-owned land but that doesn’t mean town officials are willing to close the door on other opportunities that could come their way if the industry is successful in other parts of the region.

Councillor Merrill Fullerton said the town needs to be ready to take advantage of the benefits of an oil and gas exploration sector that is about to emerge strong in the province.

Responding to residents’ concerns over comments made last month by Sackville’s director of economic development, who commented that the town needs to position itself for oil and gas industry development, Fullerton said the municipality has no intention of targeting the sector itself but should be open to other possibilities.

“There’s certainly no one on this council who is advocating for drilling or processing,” he said. “But what we do need to understand, as a community, is the economic spin-offs that could come from this. We’re not going to bury our heads in the sand.”

Although Petroworth Resources Inc., a Toronto-based exploration company, officially confirmed this month that they will not test for natural gas deposits on town-owned land, Fullerton said the company has obtained 159 permits to conduct seismic testing in areas surrounding the community.

He pointed out that there could be plenty of benefits for local firms and contractors, who could provide all types of services and maintenance work, if natural gas is found in Tantramar.

“We can sit back and pretend that we want nothing to do with the industry but I think we’d be doing a great disservice if we did.”

Fullerton noted that the oil and gas industry is a sector that could create employment and increase the tax base in the municipality and shouldn’t be overlooked as an economic development opportunity.

“This supply chain is quite large and we need to understand the opportunities that come with that.”

Councillor Virgil Hammock agreed with Fullerton, noting that councillors are certainly concerned over the drilling process used to mine for natural gas, but they need to be open-minded if they want to benefit from any potential finds.

“I do have problems with the industry and the fracking that’s going to happen outside our community,” he said. “But we can’t completely close our minds to what’s going on around us.”