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MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY

Posted By: Marty

MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 09/29/16 11:42 AM

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
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/04/16 11:26 AM

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


Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/13/16 10:58 AM

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.

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/14/16 11:05 AM


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.

Posted By: Rigrat

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 01:58 PM

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.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 02:56 PM

Making a survey may not kill fish, but using the info and subsequently drilling is NOT ok.
NOT.


Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 05:42 PM

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

Posted By: BrusselSprout

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 05:47 PM

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?
Posted By: Rigrat

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 08:26 PM

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.
Posted By: BrusselSprout

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 10:00 PM

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?
Posted By: collyk

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 10:11 PM

They say why they would do that in the GOB Press Release.

“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"

That's pretty clear to me.

Posted By: BrusselSprout

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/18/16 10:13 PM

PLUS, I find that assuming the worst regarding the actions of the Belize government often isn't assuming bad enough.
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/19/16 10:29 AM

The Northern Explorer is already in Belizean waters. It came into port; remained overnight but did not stay in port. The auxiliary vessel is also here (the Campeche); it entered Belize and went straight to port.

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/20/16 11:08 AM

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hereby invites you to an informative session on the Regional Seismic Survey.

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Time: 10:00 am
Venue: Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room, San Pedro

Based on questions and concerns raised by tourism stakeholders, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has arranged for an Information Session on the Seismic Survey planned for Belize.

The following representatives from the Department of Environment (DOE) and from the Geology & Petroleum Department will be there to address you on this very important topic.

CEO Dr. Colin Young
CEO Yvonne Hyde
Martin Allegria - Chief Environmental Officer
Andre Cho - Director of Geology & Petroleum Department

The representatives will explain details of the Seismic survey and will be able to clarify and respond to your questions and concerns.

===================

Belize's Exclusive Economic Zone, now the subject of controversial seismic exploration. Today I experienced firsthand the sound of airgun blasts underwater. Diving on the East side of Turneffe just a little North of Cock Roach Cut I heard what sounded like thunder. The day was overcast, so it didn't seem strange that there might be a storm building nearby. Shortly after, there was a second thunder clap, then another and another. I looked around at the other divers to see if they noticed anything unusual. Suddenly it struck me that what I was hearing wasn't thunder, but the sound of the seismic airgun blasts. The calm of my underwater escape had been interrupted by blasts of acoustic energy reverberating through ocean. The fish around us seemed to sense the disturbance too, everything seemed to be on edge. I reluctantly ended the dive, the fear that the source of the blasts was near and could cause harm was overwhelming. Unlike divers, marine life can't exit the water to seek safety. Today I experienced the confusion and fear all life caught in the range of seismic testing share.

balabz
Turneffe Atoll

The seismic ship is now located just South of Caye Caulker.

You can track it on the map HERE . It looks like it's scanning the length of Belize, currently heading towards Southern Belize and the Placencia area.

[Linked Image]




Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/20/16 04:56 PM

Video of Offshore Oil Exploration Conference in San Pedro, 1hr30min
https://www.facebook.com/SanPedroSun/videos/1294408247260449/

Belize Coalition meets with Caye Caulker community on seismic testing, 56min.
https://www.facebook.com/OceanaInBelize/videos/1272725702760813/
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/20/16 05:14 PM

[Linked Image]


The controversial Belize Tourism Board presentation on the currently ongoing seismic survey in Belizean waters has ended with Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. promising to lobby with the Prime Minister Dean Barrow for the research to stop until a proper consultation can be done. Residents of San Pedro have demanded a response from Heredia by 2PM today or industrial action will be taken to seize the operations. All concerned residents are invited to the Lions Den at 2PM for the follow up meeting.

San Pedro Sun

Video of Offshore Oil Exploration Conference in San Pedro, 1hr30min
https://www.facebook.com/SanPedroSun/videos/1294408247260449/
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/20/16 08:47 PM

Seismic Operations Suspended

Based on multiple concerns raised by concerned citizens regarding the seismic survey currently being conducted in the deep offshore of Belize as well as the fact that extensive consultation with a wider ground of stakeholders did not occur prior the commencement of the survey, the Government of Belize (GOB) has decided that it will suspend seismic operations until such consultations can be conducted. Accordingly, the Geology and Petroleum Department will inform the ship that they are to cease seismic operations immediately.
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/21/16 10:00 AM

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/21/16 03:05 PM

I pick up trash on the beach every day. It floats from east to west. Seems like oil would do pretty much the same thing.
Even a rig spill in Jamaica would make a disaster here. The idea of anything "just outside" the reserve area being ok is INSANE. IMHO there should be no drilling anywhere at all in the Caribbean.
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/21/16 07:00 PM

Please be informed that while the GOB has suspended seismic testing, multi beam testing has not been suspended. This screenshot of vessel finder shows, Fugro Gauss, another research vessel currently at port. The Northern Explorer has indicated they are leaving Belize Waters, because they feel "unwelcome".

Comments on Facebook:

You should support multibeam of all waters of Belize. It's valuable data that can enhance fisheries and resource management. It is not dangerous to any marine life. NB...i'm a marine scientist, diver, cave and wreck hunter. I wouldn't be saying that if it wasn't fact.

--

multibeam testing is often used to map seabed important in navigational maps where low lying reef occurs. All of Belize cruising (yacht sailing) navigational maps are massively out of date.

---

Multi beam testing provides scientists with a wealth of valuable data. It is not invasive as seismic is.
Posted By: elbert

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/22/16 10:06 AM

Unwelcome, as in plans to sabotage their boat if they continue :-)
I was surprised yesterday at the town meeting when I jokingly said,'Would anyone like a tomato?'and several notable citizens turned and said sincerely, 'Yes I'll take one'. It would have been a great opportunity to sell some rotten eggs and tomatoes when Heradia stood up and tried to tell everyone he was 'looking into it'.
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/25/16 10:19 AM


VIDEO: Seismic Survey, on Open Your Eyes, 51min

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/26/16 10:35 AM

OCEANA UPDATE. We have just gotten confirmation that now the position of the Government of Belize is that it was only collecting data to inform its position on offshore oil especially in light of conditions such as a cost benefit analysis.

But here's the problem with that position:

The data was not going to be simply collected and handed over to the Government of Belize. The Government was going to get a copy of the raw data and the agreed processed reports. However, the company, TGS, having expended approximately 6 million Belize dollars for both surveys, was going to SELL the data to recover its money. Who buys that data? Petroleum exploration companies. Why do oil companies buy data? To inform oil exploration. No company would spend money without an expectation of getting their money back. The Inspector of Petroleum confirmed this at the Government's presentation in San Pedro. The relevant section starts at time code 25:05 in this video.

This is not the ONLY opportunity to get the data that Government wants to get/says it needs to make a decision on this national issue. That an agreement was made with TGS without the public's knowledge and that it was being done by a company that was going to sell the data; and that seismic surveys started even before they said it would, it just means this was not the right way to go about any of this.

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 10/29/16 11:36 AM

Message to Minister Manuel

Amandala Editorial

“The simple truth is that oil is a finite resource. It is stored solar energy from the distant past – a one-time inheritance that we’ve been foolishly squandering, consuming it recklessly for the past hundred years. At this point, there is not enough oil left in the earth’s crust for us to go on living as we have for much longer.”

“And none of this even touches on the most devastating of all problems related to our oil addiction: global warming. So we’re left in a strangely paradoxical situation: there’s not enough oil to meet the world’s growing consumption, but that growing consumption is itself threatening to imperil the world.”

- pgs. 3, 4, BIG OIL, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE PLANET, by Linda McQuaig, Anchor Canada, 2004

Hon. Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, last week, under pressure from your substantive constituents, you said that you had dived the Barrier Reef for thirty years in making a living as a fisherman, and that you loved the reef more than you loved your Ministry. We believe you, Minister Manuel. To know the reef, is to love the reef.

Ninety years ago, an invalid British peer by the name of Baron Bliss came to Belize (then British Honduras) in his yacht, the Sea King. He spent only a couple months here before he died. He never set foot on the mainland of The Jewel. Baron Bliss fished the Barrier Reef, and he fell in love with the Barrier Reef, so much so that, as he was dying, he sent for the British Governor, Sir John Burdon, and prepared a will which left all his estate for the colony and its people.

Baron Bliss was Belize’s greatest benefactor. Ungrateful, or confused, UDP politicians a few years ago changed the March 9 holiday named after Baron Bliss from specifically honoring the Baron to a generic title – “Heroes and Benefactors’ Day.” One supposes those confused politicians felt that the Baron’s legacy reminded too much of the colonial days, and they wished to emphasize the anti-colonial struggle. Fair enough, but you don’t bite the hand that fed you, and, more relevant today, the UDP politicians apparently didn’t properly appreciate why it was that the Baron did what he did. It was the reef, baby; it was always the reef.

Again, perhaps the UDP politicians, the “drill, we will” Gucci/Armani set, were not confused; perhaps they knew exactly what they were doing. Perhaps this was how, and when, obscuring the Baron’s legacy, that they were embarking on their personally profitable journey to the world of petroleum futures.

The family that owns this newspaper may be considered committed environmentalists: we come from a sea and fishing background, just like Minister Manuel. To be truthful, we thought we were living in a private Camelot five, six decades ago in the area the cartographers used to call “The Triangles,” the area where Water Caye, Goff’s Caye, English Caye, Rendezvous Caye, Spanish Caye, and Robinson’s Point circle each other, and where the most important break (quebrado in Spanish) in the Barrier Reef, between Goff’s and English Cayes, first allowed ships, three and a half centuries ago, to enter the waters which led to the delta of the Haulover Creek, tributary of the Belize Old River, also known as the Mopan/Macal. There is much maritime history in this settlement of Belize, beloved.

As a family, Minister Manuel, we felt ourselves so privileged and private in our humble world of hurricane lanterns, fire hearths and “mangro’ wood”, sea breeze, the salts, sailing boats, and bountiful, fresh fish that we were resentful when the first evidence of tourism in Belize became visible after Hurricane Hattie.

Back then, Belize’s first Premier and later Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. George Price, was not a Gucci/Armani man: he had no problem with beans and tortillas and fish, and so he was careful to control tourism. Mr. Price was far more interested in Belizean fishing cooperatives than he was in encouraging foreign tourists to visit Belize. Mr. Price believed in hard work, not easy money. Mr. Price believed in national dignity, not Belizean subordination.

In retrospect, Belize and the Barrier Reef were so beautiful that there was no stopping tourism, we suppose, and so when your political party, Minister Manuel, first came to power in 1984, you opened the gates wide for foreign visitors and investors. When the PUP returned to power in 1989, Mr. Price remained Leader, but there were young Cabinet Ministers around him, most notably Glenn Godfrey, who were very excited about tourism and the real estate potential of La Isla Bonita. The gates the UDP first flung open, remained wide open under all subsequent PUDP administrations. Tourism, Minister Manuel, became king in our lifetime. There was no such animal in Belize when we were children.

There is a great irony here today, Minister Manuel. The irony is that it is now only tourism which can save us from the petroleum futures, which would be a far worse fate for us pure environmentalists than foreign tourism.

There is a specific point we wish to make to you today, Minister Manuel. When the Prime Minister sent the landlubber Senator Godwin Hulse to the media this week to attack us lovers of the reef, there was a very serious message there for you, Minister. Your UDP government is not with you, Minister. You now have to decide what you are going to do.

NOTE: In this cynical place which Belize has become, we must allow for the possibility that Minister Manuel is no longer who he says he is. If this is so, if the Minister has changed, we would be disappointed, but we would not attack him. Over these decades at this newspaper, we have seen so many people change, we have seen so many people gain the world and lose their soul. Such is life.

San Pedro Ambergris Caye is not a place with which we are much acquainted. The established population there first began to consider themselves separate from the rest of Belize in the 1970s when tourism-related prosperity began to raise La Isla Bonita’s standard of living above that of the rest of Belize. In 2016, Ambergris Caye is awesomely wealthy, but last week the people of La Isla Bonita had to use people power to fight against forces which are immeasurably more wealthy and more powerful than they – the forces of Big Oil.

San Pedranos realized last week that they had to fight for their way of life, and they fought. Big Oil will be back. San Pedro won a battle, but the war has really only just begun. In Belize, we have a way of life here which Mr. Price and Mr. Goldson spent their entire lives trying to protect and promote. Big Oil and our Belizean way of life cannot co-exist. That is the firm belief of this newspaper.

It is a long shot to defeat Big Oil, but if Belize is to have any hope at all of doing so, then Belizeans from the Hondo to the Sarstoon and from Benque Viejo to Half Moon, must begin to unite. We support the people of San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. There will be battles in other parts of the country where we will now expect San Pedro Ambergris to show solidarity. One nation, one people, one destiny.

Power to the people.

Amandala

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 11/14/16 03:13 PM

POSTPONEMENT OF THE COMPLETION OF THE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY

The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum would like to inform the general public that the completion of the offshore multibeam and sea seep survey will be postponed until public consultations on the survey are conducted.

The Ministry will inform the general public of the schedule of the public consultations so that interested persons may attend.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, through the Geology and Petroleum Department, will continue to ensure that the petroleum sector is developed in a responsible and environmentally conscious manner which can contribute to the sustainable development of Belize.

Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum

Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 12/29/16 02:15 PM

PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY

A multibeam survey produces bathymetric mapsor water depth maps which are essential baseline data needed for the country for navigation and scientific information. It also produces additional data such as seafloormaps which show geological features including sea mounds formed from hydrocarbon seepage which can be useful for geological analysis.

The consultation will be held on January 18, 2017 and will be repeated on January 25, 2017. Both sessions will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Information will be presented on the survey methods, techniques, equipment used, environmental concerns and mitigation measures, the products of the survey and the benefits to the country. The public will have an opportunity to clarify any concerns and to share their views on the survey.

All interested persons are invited to attend.
Posted By: Marty

Re: MARINE MULTIBEAM AND SEA SEEP SURVEY - 01/17/17 06:37 AM

Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey has been cancelled

UPDATE: via phone call on Friday, January 14th 2017, Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, Sharman Hyde verbally confirmed that the intended seismic and multi-beam surveys have been cancelled; and that the company, TGS has also been informed. Written confirmation of this has yet to be released by the Ministry. Oceana and allied partners in the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have called on key agencies like the Belize Tourism Board, the Fisheries Department and the Ministry of Tourism to publicly declare their position on offshore oil. This threat, this time is cancelled. What about the next time? Belize and Belizeans deserve to know if the Government of Belize is saying "yes" to offshore oil. The time is always right to do the right thing.

Oceana Belize

==============
Janelle Chanona – VP, Oceana Belize

“We did receive notice from the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Petroleum and Economic Development who advised us that the surveys were cancelled. So, we have that in writing now, but I think these kinds of events and the reaction we are getting is that people are saying yes, those ships left that threat is taken care of, but we want to be sure that we don’t always have to be keeping an eye out or trying to find out what is happening behind the scenes, that we don’t know about until the last minute as with what happened with seismic and multibeam last year was attempted to be; so I think these kinds of events really show that people want to be engaged they want to be involved, they want to be aware of what’s happening because they see the connections between their lives and these resources and they see what oil has already done to communities just like ours. The update is that we have written as the coalition, we want to meet with whomever will meet with us from the government we have also asked for a copy of the policy based moratorium, one of the letters that we got late in 2016 was saying the government intended to maintain a policy based moratorium that kind of flows that that would be a written document, something that we could read and review, we have yet to get a copy of that policy based moratorium so we have written again for that document.”

The Ministry did not give a reason why the survey was cancelled.
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