The Canadian government said that humpback whales are no longer an “endangered ” but ” special concern” by the ” significant” increase in copies, but environmental groups said the decision has been taken to facilitate the expansion of the oil sector.
The Canadian government published its recommendation on Saturday, although its existence was not known until today, to lower the threat level faced by iconic humpback whales in the National Reserve Gwaii Haanas Marine Conservation in the Pacific coast of Canada, and region is a determinant for the species.
But the recommendation does not indicate the current population of humpback whales and merely say that 2006 estimates placed the population at 18,000 copies.
Humpback whales were declared by Canada ” species at risk ” in 2005, a year before the coming to power of the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Since then, Harper has retired to Canada of the Kyoto Protocol, the only country that makes it having ratified the international agreement, without limitations to develop the country ‘s oil reserves in the province of Alberta.
Harper, who has stated that the development of the oil from the tar sands of Alberta is “strategic” for Canada, considered key export oil to Asian markets through the waters of the Canadian Pacific.
The Canadian government is considering the construction of a pipeline linking the oil sands to the coast of the province of British Columbia, where oil would be loaded on supertankers for export to China and other Asian markets.
The company has proposed the pipeline want the cargo terminal is positioned in the town of Kitimat, within the area considered critical for humpback whales in the North Pacific.
The Canadian government has to decide on the pipeline before June, considering the environmental impact of the project, but in recent months has Ottawa taking steps to lower the requirements, both ecological and social, which have to comply.
The approval will circulate dozens of supertankers in the waters that humpback whales need to ensure food.
In January, the environmental group Living Oceans (LO) and warned that the Harper government was preparing to ” influence ” in favor of the pipeline and warned that the rating of the humpback whales as endangered was impossible, under Canadian law, the approval of cargo terminal in Kitimat.
“The route of the oil will travel straight through identified as critical habitat for the recovery strategy itself (population of humpback whales) the government,” LO said in his report.
The organization said it is expected that between 600 and 700 supertankers each year by circulating water if approved the pipeline, called Northern Gateway.
Last week, the inhabitants of the town of Kitimat held a referendum in which the majority rejected the construction of the cargo terminal in the town.
Dozens of indigenous groups whose lands will be crossed by the pipeline also oppose the project.