East coast fishermen on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are lobbying against any oil or gas drilling in the Canadian-controlled portion of Georges Bank.

It extends from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts.

The fishermen fear the fragile groundfish spawning area could be destroyed with one oil spill or natural-gas leak.

A 12-year moratorium on drilling in Georges Bank expires next year, and Nova Scotia must decide whether to lift the moratorium or extend it.

The United States has extended its moratorium until 2012 and a group of Canadian fishermen who oppose drilling on Georges Bank says Canada should do the same.

Energy companies however have put in a bid to let the ban lapse. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says geographical evidence shows the area is more likely to produce natural gas, not crude oil. And the possibility of a spill is slim due to advanced technology.

The fishermen say even a slight risk is too great because environmental conditions in the area make an oil-spill or gas-leak clean-up difficult. They say damage to the area would be lasting.