Seabird Observations and Handling
Minimizing the impact of offshore oil and gas operations on the environment is a top priority for the industry. As part of the environmental assessment process, companies operating in Atlantic Canada must identify potential impacts of their activities on marine ecosystems and demonstrate how they will mitigate against these potential impacts. In recent years, as research related to interactions with seabirds has advanced, companies have also been required by regulators to identify processes related to seabird observation and handling.
The companies operating in Atlantic Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry follow processes developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) related to seabird handling.
All offshore operators make environmental observations as part of their daily routine, and respond if birds are found on offshore facilities. Observations are conducted by trained and/or experienced personnel. The data gathered is provided to relevant regulatory agencies.
If a bird is found on an offshore facility, the operator follows specific procedures detailing the requirements for the handling of seabirds. Operators must receive a Canadian Wildlife Service permit that includes specific conditions related to seabird handling.
Operators are committed to advancing research related environmental protection. Through the Environmental Studies Research Fund, the industry has funded various studies on seabirds. This work has resulted in multi-year monitoring programs on the Grand Banks and in Labrador conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada.