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Oct 24, 2016

Environmentalists Defend Position After Seismic Survey Company Speaks Out

Since raising the alarm on a pair of offshore studies, including a proposed seismic survey, the local environmental community has been frank in objecting to government’s approval of such maritime activities.  Opposition from Oceana in Belize, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, Healthy Reefs and the World Wildlife Fund, as well as public outcry, compelled government to suspend the probe.  The collective concern is the potential environmental impact that a seismic survey of this type would have on the fragile marine ecosystem.  Much of the resulting claims, according to the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, are, quote, erroneous.  The IAGC is a Texas-based organization.  It invests in and provides technical support for and oversight of scientific research to fill gaps in knowledge and debunk myths about the possible effects of exploration and production sound on marine life.  It is also affiliated with TGS, the same Norwegian company operating out of Houston, Texas which is attempting to gather data from Belize.  In an article published by IAGC on Friday, it says, quote, that there is no scientific support for statements, unquote, made by environmental activist groups.  It goes on to say that despite misinformation about testing and blasting, the surveys are not blasts of any kind.  In fact, the very same surveys have been conducted around the world for the past fifty years for purposes other than oil and gas exploration.  Throughout that time there hasn’t been any report of surveys harming marine life or interfering with commercial and recreational fishing or tourism activities.  This morning on Open Your Eyes, marine scientist Nadia Bood spoke to the contrary.


Nadia Bood

Nadia Bood, Marine Scientist, WWF

“Our concern stems from the fact that there was no environmental [impact] assessment done for the proposed activity.  For something like this there has to be an analysis of the cumulative, you know the cumulative impact of an activity of this scale, given our very fragile environment.  No other country has what we have; we have the second largest barrier reef in the world.  We have four of the Caribbean atolls.  To give permission for something like this you need to really analyze the situation and not only the environmental impact but you have to look at the social impact as well, given that a number of stakeholders are dependent on the marine environment and dependent on our reef system.  From our research, and these are scientific, robust research, it has shown that seismic activities really do have a potential impact on the marine environment, on the marine species.  The shockwave associated with those sound waves can have ripple effects across miles, hundreds of miles, you know.  So we cannot just permit something without looking at what the potential impact is and you cannot extrapolate something from another country to Belize because, as I mentioned before, what we are dealing with is different in terms of our environment.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Environmentalists Defend Position After Seismic Survey Company Speaks Out”

  1. Jake says:

    All you have to do is google ocean seismic survey. These tests make a sound that is too loud for the under water animals. Like flying in an airplane at 40,000 feet your ears hurt because of pressure, if your head was in water the pain would be more painful, like pushing you finger in your ear, and if you push hard enough you go through.

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