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#517900 - 09/29/16 05:42 AM MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby informs the public that pursuant to the Petroleum Act the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department, will be conducting a multibeam and sea seep survey in the marine territory of Belize east of the barrier reef and in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), excluding all marine protected areas as well as all areas banned from petroleum exploration which includes the barrier reef, the atolls and all World Heritage Sites with a 1 kilometer buffer around all these areas. The survey will be done in deep water only and away from any major tourist activity, fishing areas or spawning sites.

This survey is part of a larger regional geophysical survey currently being done by the United States Government and the Mexican Government in the US Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican Gulf of Mexico and east of the Yucatan Peninsula to gather new regional data to advance the knowledge of the geology and hydrocarbon systems of these geological provinces. Belize was invited to participate in this regional program and take advantage of the opportunity to acquire invaluable geological data over the deep waters of Belize where there is currently no data. Belize has taken the decision to participate in this regional program with the US and Mexico.

A multibeam survey is the typical survey done by countries to obtain essential baseline bathymetric data or water depth maps and seafloor maps of the world’s oceans and harbors for navigation and scientific information. This type of survey produces accurate and high resolution bathymetric maps. It also provides additional benefits such as the mapping of geological features on the sea floor including sea mounds formed on the sea bottom from hydrocarbon seepage. If sea mounds are identified, these can be sampled through soft sediment coring and analyzed to confirm the presence of hydrocarbon systems.

Multibeam surveys are done using an echo sounder similar to a fish-finder that maps the topography or bottom of the sea floor and are non-invasive and have little to no environmental effects. Multibeam surveys are used by Navies such as the US Navy, government administrative agencies such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Universities such as the University of Texas, University of Oregon and the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and marine academic organizations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Multibeam surveys for purposes of evaluating hydrocarbon systems have been conducted worldwide in marine preserves, parks, and areas sensitive to marine life such as the Raja Ampat National Park and Marine Reserve in Indonesia.

The survey is expected to commence early October 2016 and is expected to take one month to complete. All data acquired will be the property of the Government of Belize.

(They are looking for oil seeps which might indicate oil deposits below.)

[Linked Image]
Multi Beam and Sea Seep Survey Diagram

#517989 - 10/04/16 05:26 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

The Government of Belize has approved seismic surveys in Belize

If it proceeds, this testing will occur just over one kilometer away from the fragile Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, which has been listed as in danger by UNESCO.

Seismic testing involves using airguns to blast shock waves through the water that are powerful enough to penetrate the seafloor. For dolphins and whales, it can cause deafness, disturb communications, and disrupt migration patterns. Whales and whale sharks will be migrating through the area at the time of the survey. Additionally, such surveys have been shown to impact negatively catch rates for fishers, especially during testing periods.

What could possibly be worth risking our marine life? What could justify robbing 190,000 Belizeans of their livelihoods? Is oil actually worth dead fish in a dead sea in a country robbed of it's most precious resources?

If oil isn't worth it to you... let the Prime Minister know.

WWF Belize



#518250 - 10/13/16 04:58 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

OCEANA Says Seismic Shadow Looms

At the end of September, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, informed the public that, after approval from Cabinet, it would be conducting a multibeam and seep sea survey in the Exclusive Economic Zone, and away from the barrier reef, atolls and other World Heritage Sites. According to the Ministry, these surveys are part of a larger effort involving the US and Mexico to collect new data on the geological features of the area. And though the Ministry promises that these surveys will be conducted away from any major tourism areas and important fishing and spawning sites, some conservation organizations are not happy.

According to OCEANA some of the methods used in conducting the surveys could in fact be harmful to the marine life in the surrounding area. In a letter written to oppose the government's decision to allow the surveys, OCEANA cites disruption of mating and feeding habits, abandonment of habitat, and potential deafness in some marine mammals, as major concerns. OCEANA also mentions that this sort of seismic testing is often the first step in the development of oil and gas fields.

Both OCEANA and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have asked the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum to release the written position it provided to the Cabinet. The organization alleges that the information the Ministry based its position on may not be 100% scientifically accurate. Therefore, OCEANA has urged Cabinet to reassess the decision until further research has been conducted on the risks of the multibeam and seep sea surveys, and after proper measures have been put into place to protect the livelihoods of those employed in the tourism and fishing sectors.


#518277 - 10/14/16 05:05 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline


Sonic Sea

Sonic Sea ( http://www.sonicsea.org ) is a 60-minute documentary about the impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life. It tells the story of a former U.S. Navy officer who solved a tragic mystery and changed forever the way we understand our impact on the ocean.

The film is narrated by Rachel McAdams and features Sting, in addition to the renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark and Jean-Michel Cousteau.


#518371 - 10/18/16 07:58 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Rigrat Offline
.
Rigrat  Offline
I think Oceana needs to get someone who knows what they are talking about. This is not a seismic survey, this is a Multi Beam Survey to map the sea floor. If she is getting so excited about this then she needs to get excited about every single depth sounder and fish finder in Belize.
Fish cannot detect sounds above 50kHz. Multibeam surveys are typically done in the 125 to 500 kHz range. Normal conversation is -70dB a telephone ringing is -80db. Multibeam surveys are typically carried out at this depth at 20 to 70dB.

Calling this anything other than a seabed survey is scaremongering, which as we have seen in the past Oceana is very good at.

Don't believe the hype, this is a good thing for Belize and will do zero damage.

#518374 - 10/18/16 08:56 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,614
Diane Campbell Offline
.
Diane Campbell  Offline
Making a survey may not kill fish, but using the info and subsequently drilling is NOT ok.
NOT.



#518376 - 10/18/16 11:42 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 53,004
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Government of Belize to Participate in Regional Seismic Survey

The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum hereby informs the public that pursuant to the Petroleum Act the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum and the Geology and Petroleum Department, will be conducting a regional seismic survey in the deep offshore territory of Belize east of the barrier reef and in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), excluding all marine protected areas as well as all areas banned from petroleum exploration which includes the barrier reef, the atolls and all World Heritage Sites with a 1 kilometer buffer around all these areas. The survey will be done in deep water only and away from any major tourist activity, fishing areas or spawning sites.

This survey is part of a larger regional geophysical survey currently being done by the United States Government and the Mexican Government in the US Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican Gulf of Mexico and east of the Yucatan Peninsula to gather new regional data to advance the knowledge of the geology and hydrocarbon systems of these geological provinces. Belize was invited to participate in this regional program and take advantage of the opportunity to acquire invaluable geological data over the deep waters of Belize where there is currently no data. Belize has taken the decision to participate in this regional program with the US and Mexico.

A marine seismic survey is done using a seismic ship that will navigate along survey lines and acquire seismic data along the lines using an acoustic source, that focuses sound downwards, and hydrophones. The acoustic source will be towed behind the ship and will release acoustic waves at intervals along the seismic lines that will travel down in the water and into the rocks below the seafloor scanning them and return to the surface of the sea by reflection. The reflections will be received by the hydrophones that will be trailing behind the ship and the data will be sent to the ship along the hydrophones. This process will be repeated along each seismic line. There are 22 planned lines in the survey. The data produced will give a regional picture of the geology below the sea floor that will help the Government to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the deep offshore areas of Belize.

Mitigation measures, which are internationally practiced, will be utilized to minimize the disturbance to marine mammals. Every survey run will start with a ramp up procedure or slow start where the level of the acoustic sound will slowly be increased so that if any marine mammals are in the area they can move away before data acquisition commences. There will also be marine mammals observers on board the seismic vessel who will look for marine mammals in the operation zone and if there are sightings the soft start will be delayed or acquisition stopped until they have moved out of the area and then the survey process will be continued.

The survey is expected to commence in the third week of October 2016 and is expected to take 3 weeks to complete. All data acquired will be the property of the Government of Belize.

Any person who would like more information on the survey can contact Andre Cho, Director of the Geology and Petroleum Department at Market Square, Belmopan City or at telephone 802-2178.



Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to dive in Belize; the Great Blue Hole is one of the most popular tours. There's a special rush to diving amongst stalactites in a giant sinkhole at sea. But really, any dive in Belize is exciting. At its sitting on October 11th 2016, Belize's executive arm, the cabinet approved seismic testing for Belize's waters; see photo for coverage area. The Department of the Environment did not recommend an environmental impact assessment be done beforehand. Oceana believes that all Belizeans should be made aware of the potential short and long impacts of this technology before the first airgun is fired. Some studies suggest the airguns' blasts will travel for hundreds of miles underwater. Belizean waters are less than 300 miles from the apex of the Exclusive Economic Zone inwards. What's the rush? According to the Inspector of Petroleum, the survey has a tentative start date of October 20th.

Oceana Belize


#518377 - 10/18/16 11:47 AM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,043
BrusselSprout Offline
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BrusselSprout  Offline
If the research is for research sake and does no damage then great. But the fact that it MUST be a precursor to the extraction of oil is alarming to say the least.

Why start ourselves down a way too slippery slope. Why not do something now?

Last edited by BrusselSprout; 10/18/16 11:47 AM.
#518379 - 10/18/16 02:26 PM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: BrusselSprout]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Rigrat Offline
.
Rigrat  Offline
Why is it a precursor to oil exploration? Seabed surveys are done by every nation on the planet, and not all of them have oil. Belize especially has no commercial oil.

Last edited by Rigrat; 10/18/16 02:26 PM.
#518381 - 10/18/16 04:00 PM Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,043
BrusselSprout Offline
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BrusselSprout  Offline
So Belize with her LIMITED resources is paying for a mapping of the seafloor by Seabird - which bills itself as: a global provider of marine acquisition for 2D/3D and 4D seismic data, and associated products and services to the oil and gas industry.

Why would they do that?

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