There are a number of impacts that oil and gas activities have on the fishing industry. Loss of access to fishing grounds, an increase in steaming times, gear damage, navigational challenges and safety concerns with increased vessel traffic, iceberg deflection operations, concerns regarding seismic activity on fish species and fishing grounds, and an elevated environmental risk (e.g. oil spills, discharges, etc.) are all being addressed to mitigate impacts.
At the onset of any offshore program, oil and gas companies typically conduct public consultations in the areas adjacent to their planned activities. If the proposed project has any impact on fishing activity, it is particularly important to identify issues or concerns at or near the beginning of the program to enable an oil and gas company to consider measures to mitigate these issues. Seismic surveys, for example, could be planned during closed fishing seasons as well as outside important spawning times.
FFAW advocates consistently to bring concerns forward on behalf of members regarding potential impacts associated with oil and gas activities. The Union participates in consultation processes, responds formally and publicly on record to concerns in the environmental assessment process, and represents fish harvesters on committees, organizations and research initiatives related to oil and gas activities. We facilitate education and awareness, cooperation and information exchange between the fishing and petroleum sectors. We also manage the Fisheries Guide Vessel program and Fisheries Liaison Observer program.