SAINT-FULGENCE, QC, Sept. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Eight Greenpeace activists
were arrested this afternoon in a blockade of the freighter Jaeger Arrow. They
were preventing the export of Boreal Forest pulp to Europe and protesting the
forest destruction caused by logging companies and the Canadian and
international customers that buy from them.
The activists, who were hanging from the mooring lines of the vessel on
the Saguenay River in Quebec and in life rafts tied to freighter, were taken
into custody by police nine hours after the action started. All eight were
charged with criminal mischief.
The blockade, launched from Greenpeace's ship the Arctic Sunrise early
this morning, prevented the freighter from being loaded with pulp manufactured
by SFK Pulp and from leaving port. The pulp, worth approximately $2.5 million
was destined for Europe.
"We were here today to prevent the export of Boreal Forest destruction,
and to shine a light on the companies here in Canada and around the world that
are fuelling it," said Greenpeace campaigner Christy Ferguson. "Logging
companies and their customers need to accept responsibility for the crisis in
Canada's forests and start taking action."
The activists charged pulp manufacture, SFK Pulp, with purchasing wood
chips from destructive logging operations. Two of the main suppliers of wood
chips to SFK Pulp, Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater, log in the last remaining
intact areas of the Boreal Forest, in the habitat of threatened species as
woodland caribou, and in areas where industrial logging is opposed by local
"Logging companies like Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater continue to deny
that there's anything wrong in Canada's forests," said Ferguson. "But anyone
who's seen the satellite images showing massive fragmentation, the scientific
reports showing species extirpation, and the news reports describing closure
after closure of mills and towns knows different."
The Jaeger Arrow is a 170 metre trans-Atlantic freighter. More than 8,000
tonnes of pulp were to be loaded on the ship today. The pulp was destined for
paper giant Stora Enso, which manufactures paper for major magazine publishers
throughout Europe. Quebec exported forest products worth $684 million to
Europe and $10 billion to the U.S. in 2005. Ontario exported $8 billion to the
U.S. and $92 million to Europe.
Less than nine per cent of the forests in Ontario and five per cent in
Quebec are protected from industrial development. Canada's Boreal Forest
represents a quarter of the world's remaining intact ancient forests and
stores 47.5 billion tonnes of carbon in its soils and trees. An area three
times the size of France has already been degraded and fragmented by
development in the Boreal Forest region (175 million hectares).
Note to photo editors: High-resolution photos of the action will be
available online at www.greenpeace.ca/gallery. Digital video is available
For further information:
For further information: Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace forest campaigner,
(416) 451-9354; Melissa Filion, Greenpeace forest campaigner, (514) 581-8216;
Jocelyn Desjardins, Greenpeace communications officer, (514) 212-5749