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Digby Courier- 11june2011: People living and working closest to two newly approved salmon farm leases don’t want the salmon farms.

More than 80 per cent of the population of Long and Brier islands and all of the lobster fishermen last year signed a petition against the project.

lobster fishery threatened

lobster fishery threatened in St Mary's Bay

Despite the local opposition, Nova Scotia’s minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Sterling Belliveau, approved the two leases for Cooke Aquaculture this week. That gave the New Brunswick company the go-ahead to install salmon farms on two sites covering a total of 84 hectares (209 acres) in St. Mary’s Bay, just around Dartmouth Point from Freeport and Westport.

Some comments from the story:

  • It stinks, the smell is coming right in the house. The beach here is covered in slime.”
  • They have let it fallow maybe 15 days out of the last 10 years. They have pushed it to the max.
  • She worries what the two new farms, each eight times bigger than the Grand Passage site, will do to traditional lobster fishing grounds in St. Mary’s Bay.
  • What they’re doing in New Brunswick and what they are proposing to do in St. Mary’s Bay, is not safe, it’s not environmentally sustainable, it’s not good.
  • It’s been a disaster—very few jobs and so many issues. It’s almost never been fallowed, but they can get away with that because there is just no regulation here in Nova Scotia. It’s the wild west.
  • If this project is as great as they say it is, or bad as they say it is, then a joint panel review (provincial and federal) was the way to go.
  • There was no interest on the part of the province to really look into the long-term environmental effects or the socio-economic impacts. They didn’t want to know.
  • They studied how the environment would affect the salmon, not how the salmon would affect the environment.
  • The federal study was “no better than a grade 5 book report.
  • “We’ve got a $400 million dollar fishery here – why would you want to do anything to put that at risk?
  • If the lobster goes, there will be nothing here in Freeport. What are we supposed to do? Go to work at a minimum wage on a salmon farm? That’s what they want.
  • We made this decision in the best interest of the people of Nova Scotia -Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau
  • It would have been nice if the minister had actually visited the community.
  • None of the concerns in hundreds of letters or requests for additional information have ever been addressed. We have received no feedback at all.
  • For the minister to state that he has met with the community and alleviated the concerns of fishers and community members is not true.”
  • If the minister is in possession of good science which would reassure the people of the Islands, then he should share it with them.
  • No one knows what the long-term cumulative effects of these farms will be.
  • In 10 years’ time when we are hauling up empty traps, maybe we’ll know, but it will be too late.

>>> full story here