03 August 2010

As pure as the driven snow…

But besides the scientific reasons, Gilkinson said there is a political reason for the trip as well.

He said under United Nations rules, coastal states are obligated to “identify and characterize” VME’s adjacent to them.

“It’s important these areas be identified and mapped,” said Gilkinson.

Curious how a news story can include more than a little bit of editorialising.

That quote is from an August 2 story in the Telegram on the recently completed exploration of areas offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Notice that following the obligation of coastal states to conduct oceanic research is considered by the Telegram to be a “political reason”.

The project turned up a couple of dozen new species, and generally added significantly to our collective knowledge of the east coast offshore. But that is “political”, as if international obligations – United Nations rules – put some kind of tarnish on things.

Notice as well that while the Department of Fisheries and Oceans had a leading role in this expedition, the Telly story didn’t do much beyond mention that the guy they quoted worked for the federal fisheries ministry. He was – in the words the Telly writer chose – merely “on the trip” that was “out of” the Bedford oceanographic institute.

Incidentally, Bond Papers told you about this expedition back on July 21, while the ship doing the work was still offshore Newfoundland.

Now by contrast in early July, the Telly nearly blew a collective blood vessel endorsing the Premier’s decision to drop millions of provincial taxpayers dollars on studying how many fish are in the ocean.  The research is supposed to help “us” make better fisheries decisions.

At no point did anyone at the Telly suggest that this little expenditure might be political.  No one bothered to point out in the Telegram, that the “us” spending the money only has to decide how many fish plants to license. That doesn’t require a detailed knowledge of capelin populations near the southeast shoal.

The announcement came based in no small measure on the unfounded claim that the federal fisheries department had basically given up on research altogether.  Nothing at all political in those false claims, apparently, at least as far as the Telly was concerned then or is concerned now.

And of course, this recent expedition in no way proved the inherent bullshit in the earlier claims about DFO and and its supposed lack of fish science.


According to the Telly, only the federal program had any hint of politics in it.

The provincial government’s news, by contrast, was apparently as pure as the driven snow and in no way looked like a pile of snow on Duckworth Street at the end of a long hard winter…well at least as far as any possible hint of political motivation might be concerned.

- srbp -