THE TELEGRAM - Letters
NL has the opportunity to do aquaculture right
Published on August 12, 2017
Under normal circumstances, Nova Scotians should not easily comment upon internal Newfoundland politics. But the Grieg project is a special topic. It is the wrong idea at the wrong time in the most inappropriate of all places, if I may respectfully say so. Newfoundland ó Godís country? ó is so much better than this outlandish idea your government is contemplating.
If you insist upon propping up the aquaculture sector, why not move entirely out of the ocean pens and onto the land in a closed containment format? Invest in something that is actually sustainable. Open-net pen fish farms are disastrous in so many respects. On land closed containment is the only legitimate way forward in fin fish aquaculture.
I presume your motivation is to generate employment for rural communities and revenues for a cash-strapped government. On land closed containment models fortunately offer both. Traditional under-utilized fish plants can be converted to closed containment facilities for about 40 cents on the dollar. All of a sudden the massive pollution in food waste and excrement disappears and can actually be recycled in a positive mode. There is no longer need for pesticides as you no longer deal with lice on the fish on a regular basis. The actual growing cycle for the fish is dramatically shortened as water temperature and environmental conditions can be controlled on a continuous basis.
And perhaps best of all, the growers can obtain a premium price for the fish raised since the marketplace rewards on land product by a dollar a pound premium or even greater.
Whatís not to like? Really, how could you do otherwise than to responsibly invest in a technology that suits your province, your coastal region and a challenging climate?
Take the first step and make it a bold step. Demonstrate to your governmental counterparts in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that Newfoundland is progressive, sustainable and on the cutting edge of responsible food practice.
I presume your motivation is to generate employment for rural communities and revenues for a cash-strapped government. On land closed containment models fortunately offer both.
Stewart Lamont, managing director
Tangier Lobster Company