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FROM HALIFAX HERALD – 27 JUL 2011

In the recent article "Aquaculture firm faces more legal action," a Cooke Aquaculture spokeswoman expresses the company’s disappointment in opponents, especially the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF), of its open-penned salmon farm in the Digby area.

ASF, an organization with goals to protect wild Atlantic salmon and their habitat, should react to expansion of open-penned salmon farming in Nova Scotia. Anglers, conservationists and residents still remember how stocks of up to 40,000 wild Atlantic salmon in the inner Bay of Fundy collapsed to fewer than 200 today, coinciding with the arrival of open-penned salmon aquaculture in the area.

As juvenile salmon leave their native rivers and go to sea, their interactions with open-penned salmon may leave them exposed to excessive mortality. Also, if Atlantic hurricanes damage nets allowing thousands to escape, who is responsible?

ASF advocates land-based aquaculture as the sustainable method to raise farmed salmon, thus eliminating some or most of the environmental and ecological impacts of open-net farming. The 60 rivers of the Southern Uplands should never suffer the same fate experienced by the inner Bay salmon.

I applaud the great work of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Ken Farmer, Dartmouth

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