More Protection Proposed for Sable Island

February 16, 2010

Halifax, NS — The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia say they will try to pass laws to permanently protect the ecologically sensitive Sable Island, 290 kilometers (180 miles) off Halifax in the Atlantic Ocean.

Authorities have not decided precisely what from protections will take. The island region is the site of many old shipwrecks, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Described as a 3,400 hectares (8,401 acres) of sand loosely held together by vegetation, the island provides a home to 400 wild horses who apparently landed there as a result of the 223 known shipwrecks. Several species of migratory birds and 300,000 — the world’s largest group — of grey seals also call it home. The island area is subject to oil and gas exploration as well.

Fishermen blame the concentration of seals for the failure of challenged groundfish stocks to rebuilt, so fishermen oppose greater protections for seals near traditional cod spawning areas.


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