Conflicts of values and interests are a natural occurrence in the course of exploitation of Canada's natural resources—such has been the case between the geophysical exploration industry and fisheries interests. In the early days of seismic exploration, high-velocity explosives, detonated within the water column, were the energy source for most geophysical surveys. Open-water detonations, however, were injurious or lethal to many kinds of aquatic fauna.

In the mid-1960s the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) became active in assessing the effects of seismic exploration on fish. In the absence of good data, knowledge, and experience, DFO felt it prudent to...

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