Fisheries Investigation The Narwhal 5

Logging, mining, fisheries: three Narwhal stories making waves

In this week’s newsletter, we look at a trio of in-depth, nuanced and visually compelling pieces about the environment

This is the web version of The Narwhal’s newsletter. Go here to sign up.

Flying a drone to capture logging in Canada’s forgotten rainforest. Shining a spotlight on a First Nation fighting to protect its territory. Talking to fisheries whistleblowers and digging through documents. 

These may be three different stories, but each of them represents the core of our journalism at The Narwhal: in-depth, compassionate and visually compelling. And they all made waves this week.

Two of those pieces have been honoured with silver medals by the Digital Publishing Awards.

Judith Lavoie’s on-the-ground feature detailing the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s 12-year battle against a proposed Taseko Mines project was recognized for excellence in feature writing, a selection that came just weeks after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that killed the New Prosperity mine.

A feature on deforestation in Canada’s rare inland temperate rainforest took home a silver in the photo storytelling category, thanks to the stunning visuals captured by Taylor Roades — and a reader tip that sparked the story idea.

For Roades, it was her first assignment using a drone, a method that she says gave her the “perspective to see the effects of logging on such a large scale.”

Clear cuts from above the Anzac River Valley near Prince George. Photo: Taylor Roades / The Narwhal

Of course, awards are just icing on the cake. Ultimately, our work is about staying true to that time-honoured journalistic mantra to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Case in point: our investigation into B.C.’s trawl fishery, which revealed at-sea observers were facing threats and harassment while trying to do their jobs out at sea, a revelation that not only raised workplace safety issues but also called into question the sustainability of bottom trawling.

Now, weeks after Jimmy Thomson’s investigation was published, a skipper accused of abuse by several observers has resigned from his position as a director of a fisheries society — a role he had held for more than 20 years.

We want to be able to tell even more of these ambitious stories. But producing them takes time, effort and resources to get right. If you’re able, please consider supporting our investigative, non-profit journalism by becoming a monthly member of The Narwhal.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

We hope you are staying healthy and safe.

Arik Ligeti
Audience Engagement Editor

Fisheries society director resigns after allegations of abuse from observers of B.C. trawl industry

Fisheries Observers Harassment Abuse The Narwhal

By Jimmy Thomson

Kelly Andersen’s resignation from the Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society follows an investigation by The Narwhal documenting threats and harassment faced by observers while gathering data out at sea. Read more.

8 things you need to know as Alberta suspends even more environmental monitoring of oil and gas industry

Groundwater sampling

By Sharon J. Riley

The Alberta Energy Regulator has extended a waiver of many monitoring requirements to the entire industry, in what NDP Leader Rachel Notley is calling a ‘cynical’ use of the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

Yukon putting cart before horse by approving roads without completed land use plans: new report

Road near Dawson City, Yukon

By Julien Gignac

Green-lighting new roads into undisturbed regions irreversibly changes the landscape before the full spectrum of impacts can be considered, says Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Read more.

Up in smoke: B.C. backtracks on promise to deter logging industry from burning wood waste

Slash pile burn B.C.

By Ben Parfitt

Nearly three years ago the province promised to rein in the air pollution and unwanted emissions from slash-pile burning by introducing a carbon tax that has yet to materialize — to the great frustration of rural communities and a small mill operator who says valuable wood fibre is needlessly going up in smoke. Read more.

In conversation with Robert Bateman on his 90th birthday

Robert Bateman, Sandhills on the Platte

By Raina Delisle

The iconic Canadian artist and naturalist reflects on his life and his work. Read more.

What we’re reading

Note from a Narwhal

We’re in love with this note from Ana, who messaged us on Instagram to wish us a happy two-year anniversary.

“It’s immensely admirable that you have created this award-winning news platform in such a short amount of time. The writing is crisp, compelling and completely trustworthy with stunning photography on top. I appreciate how The Narwhal focuses on the social dimensions of conservation and how loss of the environment affects those that live and work in wild places. I hope your platform continues to thrive and tell Canadian stories that need to be heard. Best wishes for the future!”

When you’re cruising into those award wins. Tell your friends to surf over to our newsletter sign-up page.

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