ALBERTA, Canada – Shell Canada has donated its eastern Arctic offshore exploration permits in the Baffin Bay to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to support the establishment of a national marine conversation area off the coast of Nunavut.
The Nature Conservancy in turn released the permits to the Canadian government, and noted that the move “[facilitated] a marine conservation initiative of global significance.”
The relinquished rights amount to more than 8,625 sq km (3,330 sq mi), expanding the existing 44,500 sq km (17,181 sq mi) of marine territory already under federal consideration to form the Lancaster Sound Marine Conservation Area.
Shell said that the current proposal area encompasses most of Lancaster Sound, and noted that its contributed permit area, located outside and east of these boundaries, could clear the way for a larger national marine conservation area.
A government moratorium on oil and gas activity has been in place for nearly 40 years in the Lancaster Sound and Baffin Bay regions.
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