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In winter there are usually cracks from the points of land and I can put my net under water. But now there are hardly any cracks so I canít fish for char any more.

Qikiqtarjuaq resident (unnamed)

Beaufort Sea Project Reprints - Fishes, Invertebrates and Marine Plants

This book is the last of the five summary books produced and was published in 1985, ten years after the field work was undertaken. It provides an introduction to the fish, marine invertebrates such as crabs and shrimp, and plant life including the role of plankton as the basis of the marine food chain. The complex marine environment is explained in terms of the interaction of the vast water flows into the ocean from the Mackenzie River which causes variable salinity as the fresh and salt waters mix. This diverse environment provides great variability in the relationships between the fish, invertebrates and plants that inhabit this region.

The report then discusses potential impacts of industrial development primarily from the exploration for gas and oil reserves. Community subsistence fishing is discussed including the socio-economic effects of the development activity. The specific dangers and impacts of oil spills on the ecosystem are reviewed.

The impact of full-scale production on the environment with regard to the early phases of exploration, then production and transportation of the oil from this region, it is suggested, might constitute a greater risk than a single catastrophic blowout or spill from a grounded oil tanker. Experience on the North Slope of Alaska and the pipeline to Valdez would bear out this conclusion.

Fishes, Invertebrates and Marine Plants - The Beaufort Sea and the Search for Oil (reprint)
by Roger Percy, Brian Smiley and Trudy Mullen
Edited by R.J. Childerhose
Art Direction by Marj Trim
Line drawings by Joey Morgan

Reproduced with the permission of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2010.
167 pages (PDF format - 101 MB)

Beaufort Sea Project Reprints
Birds and Marine Mammals
Crude Oil in Cold Water
Fishes, Invertebrates and Marine Plants
Oil, Ice and Climate Change
Oil Spill Countermeasures
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