Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Living Oceans Society releases new evidence Re: Old Masset Iron Fertilization Scheme

October 19, 2012

VANCOUVER – Living Oceans Society today released documentation showing that the controversial ocean dumping of iron sulphate, conducted by Old Masset Village and Russ George this summer, was presented to the Credit Union financing the project as a scheme to sell carbon credits, rather than a serious science project.

“The loan secured by Old Masset Village for $2.5 million requires repayment of $278,000 in principle plus interest each year for ten years,” said Karen Wristen, Executive Director of Living Oceans.  “That kind of repayment plan could not possibly be predicated on the proceeds of an improved salmon fishery.”

The Credit Union’s due diligence letter was found posted online and provided to Environment Canada in August, according to Wristen.  The letter sets out a number of questions that the Credit Union felt needed to be asked and answered, concerning the legality of the scheme and the existence of a credible mechanism to verify and sell the carbon credits that the project was expected to generate.  They nonetheless loaned the money, observing that it is fully secured against the Council’s economic development funds.

“This project is massively irresponsible and its continued promotion as a ‘science experiment’ is ludicrous,” said Wristen.  “The very real potential for robbing the ocean of oxygen and increasing its acidity locally could have damaging effects on the ecosystem that actually reduce fish abundance.  This is why the practice of iron fertilization is banned by international treaty, unless conducted in controlled experiments by competent scientists.  There is no credible scientist in the world stepping forward to defend Old Masset’s project.”

Living Oceans Society reported this project to Environment Canada in August of this year, providing the name of the ship being used and its location, together with the banking documents that proved the intent to conduct illegal ocean dumping.  “We have grave concerns about Canada’s complete failure to stop this project from going ahead,” said Wristen.  “Coast Guard personnel were on hand and could have intercepted the vessel based on the information we provided.”


Contact Information

Karen Wristen, Executive Director, Living Oceans Society – 604-992-6534