The Federal Court decided today not to halt the American research vessel poised to begin seismic testing in the Endeavor hydrothermal vents, a marine protected area off the coast of Vancouver Island. However, while we were suing Foreign Affairs over allowing the research vessel entry into Canadian waters, the government decided to impose stronger environmental conditions on the vessel’s operations in this highly sensitive area.
Our case gained significant attention and drew the public’s eye to the risks facing endangered whales during seismic testing. The risks to marine mammals are real, but we hope they have been reduced by our legal efforts. Or as Justice Kelen himself wrote in the Federal Court’s ruling today:
“…in fact, their (Ecojustice, CPAWS and Living Oceans Society) imminent legal action may have precipitated the requirement for increased mitigation measures.”
We hope that the government will continue to improve the protection of whales in BC waters, and we’ll continue to work towards better regulation of seismic testing in our oceans and for the full protection of endangered species in all of our marine protected areas.