A moratorium on oil and gas development on a large piece of the continental shelf between Southwest Nova Scotia and Cape Cod called Georges Bank will be extended for seven years, protecting the ecologically diverse waters beloved by fishermen and environmental groups in the region.
The shallow waters of Georges Bank, located about 100 kilometres off the Nova Scotia coast is abundant in haddock, halibut and scallops and is a refuge for endangered turtles and whales that migrate through the nutrient-rich corridor.
The shelf is also thought to be home to large quantities of natural gas.
Nova Scotia recently announced it will renew legislation, Bill C-64, this fall that maintains the moratorium, following a similar decision announced by the federal government before parliament broke for summer.
According to Mark Butler, policy director at the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, the provincial decision to extend the moratorium “passed at the very last minute.”
“It’s quite amazing, really, but nonetheless it passed.”