Long Island residents on Digby Neck are worried that salmon may have escaped from the open net pens recently installed by Cooke aquaculture after tropical storm Irene. If there are escapees, there may be a , threatening wild salmon stocks. in the area. Cooke senior executive Nell Halse told the Halifax Herald that no salmon escaped.
“Three of the four cages in one site had the sides out of them and were completely being submerged in the water,” said Karen Crocker, a whale watching tour operator and spokesperson for the St. Mary’s Bay Coastal Coalition. Crocker and friends also saw thousands of birds ni a feeding frenzy above some of the cages which had lost predator nets. “The question is,” added Crocker, “ where is the policing of this industry in Nova Scotia?” Crocker questions why officials from Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture or the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans were on site assessing the situation.
In meetings with Fisheries and Aquaculture minister Sterling Belliveau and his staff, as well as with fishery critic Junior Theriault and Liberal leader Stephen McNeil, as well as to DFO via the environmental review, area residents warned that the waters in which the new cages have been placed were too treacherous to sustain the cages.