Letter: Stop putting our Atlantic salmon at risk
25 Aug. 2018
Norwegian-funded salmon aquaculture is sinking millions of dollars into establishing fish farms along the south coast of Newfoundland.
We have good legislation to examine the environmental consequences of these proposals but the provincial government wants to look the other way and let anything in if it creates employment.
Last year when they did this for a Placentia Bay project, I brought a court application in my own name opposing their actions. The Atlantic Salmon Federation later joined in and Madame Justice Gillian Butler ruled that a proper environmental assessment was required.
For anybody who has any doubts about the environmental risks we are taking, simply Google: “environmental problems salmon Chile.” Or change “Chile” to “Norway” in your search.
The huge environmental costs are found in the following article in the Ecologist: https://theecologist.org/2016/nov/01/huge-environmental-costs-salmon-farms-south-america
The federal government, under environmental protection legislation, has designated the Atlantic salmon population of the south coast of Newfoundland threatened in these words, written when salmon cages were in the Conne River area, and are identified as a “small section” of the South Coast designatable unit 4 (DU4):
“(The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) has identified the following threats (actual or imminent) to DU4: recreational fisheries, illegal fishing (poaching), commercial fishery in St. Pierre and Miquelon, ecological and genetic interactions with escaped domestic Atlantic salmon in a small section of this DU, and poorly understood changes in marine ecosystems resulting in reduced survival during the marine phase of their life history.”
You can read it here: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/profiles-profils/Salmon-saumon-DU04-eng.html
If environmental laws mean anything in Canada, any Norwegian-funded salmon aquaculture in this province needs a long, hard look before being approved.
Failure to do so could result in escaped salmon going into our rivers and interbreeding with wild fish as well as infecting them with diseases brought in from hatcheries located outside the province.