The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP), the organization in charge of monitoring waterways running through Alberta oil sands developments, has found hundreds of examples of deformed fish, but has failed to notify the public or the government. A report by the RAMP says 915 fish with deformities, growths or other abnormalities have been found in the Athabasca river since 1987, a number greater then what the organization has indicated in its annual reports to the Alberta government. The organization has been widely criticized for being overly secretive and for selectively releasing information. “That is the problem. To get the actual data, you need the raw data,” not just annual reports, said Kevin Timoney, an Alberta ecologist and oil sands researcher. “They release just enough so they can say that they did, but they don’t give you enough to see what’s really going on.” The RAMP is currently under three reviews, one of which was ordered by former environment minister Jim Prentice after he was shown photos of mutated fish.
Friday, December 17, 2010