Salmon Group Aims for Meeting with Gerry Byrne


Salmon Group Aims For Meeting With Minister

March 3, 2018 | 7:01 am

A salmon conservation group focused on reforming the province’s aquaculture regulations is seeking a meeting with provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne.

Leo White of the Newfoundland Coalition for Aquaculture Reform says if Minister Byrne is genuinely interested in protecting wild Atlantic salmon, they want to know why he has until now refused to meet with them to discuss their concerns surrounding aquaculture regulations in the province.

White says they met with Environment Minister Eddie Joyce and received correspondence from Byrne, but would like to meet with him.

He says the environmental assessment process is continuing on the Grieg project, but that’s only part of their concerns. They want to discuss the existing industry and what he calls the issues that need to be addressed there.

White says they’re concerned that the minister has too much discretionary power under the existing aquaculture regulations.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic Salmon Federation is taking exception to recent comments from Byrne regarding land-based aquaculture.

Byrne suggested that land-based aquaculture is not the panacea some may think. He used the recent destruction of fish at two small, independently owned land-based aquaculture facilities in Nova Scotia following an outbreak of Infectious Salmon Anemia. He says becoming entrenched in one idea does not necessarily lead to a great result.

Neville Crabbe of the Atlantic Salmon Federation says Byrne’s comments left people with the wrong impression. He says the infected fish were headed to open net pen sea cages somewhere in Atlantic Canada. The federation says those fish weren’t at the two closed containment facilities that were growing salmon from egg to plate with minimal environmental impact.