Nova Scotia Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau sent out an email to the NDP faithful recently which attempted to rationalize his recent decisions to grant several more huge salmon feed lot licenses to New Brunswick multi-national Cooke Aquaculture, Inc.
Citizens in the St. Mary’s Bay region of Nova Scotia reviewed Belliveau’s memo and found it lacking in accuracy. The St. Mary’s bay Coastal Alliance drafted an exhaustive reply to the Minister’s letter, in which they say some of his data is incorrect, intentionally misleading, and meaningless.
Here is an outline of the claims Belliveau makes, all of which the SMBCA says are false:
CLAIM: New fish farm lease and license scrutiny is one of the most rigorous that exists for any industry…FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Aquaculture department is ignorant of existing problems at Westport, NS open-net salmon farm. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: All public concerns have been addressed. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Decision to approve St. Mary’s bay sites is based on science from federal and provincial experts and the feedback from fishermen and community groups. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Has taken the past 15 months to weigh the concerns of residents, community groups, scientists, fish health experts and staff. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: He has set several conditions on the lease and license for these sites, and they are posted on the department website. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Significant adverse affects or breach of conditions may result in the termination of the lease and the license. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: St. Mary’s sites will not displace fishermen. FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Minister Belliveau states that this will create good jobs and an opportunity for the Province FALSE, says SMBCA
CLAIM: Increase in fish farms will not have the effect of privatizing the coastline. FALSE, says SMBCA