A Canadian judge (Bless her.) Sunday told researchers they can’t bombard the arctic waters of Lancaster Sound with sound waves to try to learn what’s under the seabed.
Nunavut Judge Sue Cooper granted an injunction sought by parties seeking to stop the joint project of the federal natural resources department and the German Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Toronto Sun reported. The seismic project was to have started as early as this week, the newspaper said.
The researchers intended to map the area under Lancaster Sound by bouncing sound waves off the earth below the sea.
Some of the general known effects of sound waves include:
Damage to rocket engines, hence the flood of water under the space shuttle to absorb the sound vibration at engine start.
It has been proposed as a source of cold fusion in heavy water.
It is used to atomize fuel in burners.
it is used to break up gallstones.
Can cause damage to eardrums and living tissues in vitro and in vivo.
So when scientists want to use sonar/sound waves to map Lancaster Sounds seabed without having a clue of what damage they could cause some knowing folks objected.
While two Nunavut government agencies had given their OK to go ahead with the sonic testing, some Inuit groups and environmentalists went to court, contending it could harm marine wildlife.
Judge Cooper sided with the testing opponents, saying there could be an impact on wildlife and consequently on the food supply of the nearby Inuit communities.
“On the whole of the evidence presented, I am satisfied that Inuit in the five affected communities will suffer irreparable harm if an injunction is not granted,” her decision reads.
The importance of Lancaster Sound, an arm of Baffin Bay should not be underrated. It is a major passage through the Arctic Archipelago, is 248.55 miles (400 km) long and some 62.14 miles (100 km) wide. It lies at the north end of Baffin Island and is connected to Barrow Strait on the west. As a result of the interaction of currents, the sound is rich in nutrients and supports a biologically varied community of birds, mammals and fish. At Bylot Island, which lies at its eastern end, it provides breeding grounds for some 3 million seabirds alone. The area has provided sustenance for Inuit cultures for thousands of years: ringed seals, walrus and polar bears, and Narwhals, Belugas, killer and bowhead whales. Arctic fox is trapped in almost every inlet, and arctic char is taken at the mouths of rivers.
“Thank you for protecting Mother Nature Judge Sue Cooper”
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/bDkrbi