Nov 13

New study raises alarm over oil drilling potential impact to dolphins

November 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm Eyewitness News

Study reveals that Bimini dolphins use waters around the BPC exploratory drill site

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A new study has highlighted potential threats to Bimini’s million-dollar dolphin-watching industry from proposed oil drilling next month.

The research is led by Abaco-based Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization (BMMRO) senior scientist Dr. Charlotte Dunn, and cites Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) environmental impact assessment (EIA) as lacking.

The study was published yesterday in the scientific journal Aquatic Mammals, and reveals that Bimini dolphins use waters around the BPC exploratory drill site.

It refers to BPC’s EIA, which states that there were “relevant uncertainties and gaps identified are primarily related to lack of primary baseline data for wildlife”.

The study furthers that these “uncertainties” and “gaps” indicate BPC cannot 
predict what impacts their oil drilling will have on Bahamian marine life, including dolphins
 and whales.

Dunn said: “The key message from our study is that BPC’s exploratory drill area may be of significant importance to Bimini’s dolphins. Until now, no one knew that Bimini dolphins used waters that far south, highlighting how little is known about wildlife in this remote location and the need for BPC to carry out dedicated marine mammal surveys prior to any drilling to fill these critical gaps in their EIA.”

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