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2020 Seismic Operations

May 29, 2020

Two 3D vessels are expected to conduct seismic work offshore Newfoundland and Labrador this year – the Ramform Atlas and the Ramform Titan.

As you know, drilling, seismic activity and exclusionary zones push fish harvesters further and further out of their traditional fishing areas.  FFAW-Unifor continues to be focused on mitigating impacts of seismic on the fishing industry. This includes keeping seismic vessels off of fishing grounds during open and active fishing seasons. As a condition of their authorization to conduct work offshore seismic vessels must avoid active fishing areas.

Our Union also continues to speak out against the potential harm of seismic operations on valuable fish resources. FFAW has lobbied for research to be undertaken on the effects of seismic on fish species and their habitat. The union has been successful in this regard, and members have been working with DFO to examine effects of seismic on important species.

The Ramform Atlas had planned to shoot seismic at the start of the season in the Northeast Slope Marine Refuge. A last minute change now has the vessel planning to acquire seismic data in a block that straddles the boundary between 3K and 3L and the shelf break. The block also comprises important turbot grounds for harvesters in 2J3KL.

The Ramform Atlas plans to start shooting seismic next week, once its streamer array is deployed. The vessel will move outside the area once fishing vessels travelling to turbot grounds are observed. FFAW-Unifor will be monitoring this situation 24/7.

We will continue to keep you updated on seismic vessel movements this season. The Ramform Titan is anticipated to arrive in NL waters towards the end of June.