A vibrant offshore oil industry is great for the province’s economy but not so for the seabirds and wildlife off our coast. Well known seabird biologist Bill Montevecchi is raising concerns about the lack of regulations and the fate of seabirds in a very active oil industry.
He’s concerned about having a regulator, the Canada Newfoundland-Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, representing all sides of the equation – the industry as well as environment and safety.
Montevecchi says the population of the largest colony of Leach’s Storm-Petrels at Baccalieu Island is plummeting. He and other biologists gave the oil industry a protocol nearly 20 years ago on how to collect data on seabird mortality and occurrences. He has been at all the public hearings, but the oil companies have failed to to produce any data.
Montevecchi says seabirds perish in a number of ways around oil platforms. The birds are attracted to light from the platform, and are killed by the flame.