The Nunavut Planning Commission requested a study be done after approval was given for seismic testing and potential oil and gas development off the coast of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait
The report, titled “Oil Spill Detection and Modeling Report in the Hudson and Davis Straits” acknowledges technology has come a long way in detecting and monitoring spills, but this is for open water spills, not spills like those that would happen in the Arctic under the ice and snow. Another finding is the little bit of research that has been done, over-simplifies the problem.
How an oil spill reacts in then north would depend on conditions at the time. In the case of a fall or winter spill, the report suggests any company responsible for a spill would likely have to wait until the sea ice melted before attempting a clean up. During that time, an oil slick could travel hundreds of kilometers and kill numerous sea mammals and fish.
The report was prepared by a research firm in St. John’s, Newfoundland, LookNorth,