“I remember clearly my grandfather saying to me when I was a child that the two fundamental things we need to live are air and water, and we are treating both as a garbage can. He created a consciousness about our oceans, and taking better care is more urgent now than ever before, so I try my best to carry on his message.”  Fabien Cousteau, 2011

Fabien Cousteau’s grandfather Jacques would roll over in his grave at the thought of his name being used by our NDP Government to promote the development of Open Pen Salmon Feedlots in our pristine oceans.

Let’s hope that is not the case.

The younger Cousteau is a keynote speaker at a forum entitled “Feeding a growing world while protecting our oceans.” This is one of the themes that the Dexter Government has been touting to justify their $25 million investment in Open Pen Fish Farms.

Most of the Atlantic Region’s Universities and the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia are among the other sponsors of this event, scheduled at 2pm on Friday January 25th at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.

Not all aquaculture results in the negative effects associated with Open Pen Ocean Based Feedlots. Some shellfish farms have little impact on the environment. Land based finfish farms are being developed by those with a vision and they resolve most of the problems experienced by companies such as Cooke Aquaculture. Cooke Aquaculture is one of the world’s largest producers with Open Pen

Feedlots spread from Atlantic Canada to Chile. They have a history of destroying our coastlines, and marine habitat; as well as eliminating precious wild salmon stocks and threatening other industries such as the lucrative lobster fisheries.

It should be interesting to see if Fabien Cousteau supports this type of fish farming as a means of feeding the world.

A society that promotes the idea of feeding our growing population fish laced with pesticides, antibiotics and sea lice must be challenged by those with any respect for the environment, our marine life and the human race. Fish species that are currently feeding millions of people in poorer countries are being scooped up for fish meal to raise salmon for the richer nations. Is this a sustainable method of solving the world’s food shortages?

I think not.

Open Pen Salmon Feedlots are just one aspect of a very broad forum when it comes to discussing the entire aquaculture industry and feeding the world’s growing population. Because of the rapid expansion of this plague in our Nova Scotia Harbours, and around the world, we must ensure that those who attend Mr. Cousteau’s presentation have all of the facts on the negative impact of Open Pen Salmon Feedlots.

Participants will be provided with background information on alternatives to Open Pen Ocean based Fish Farms as they enter the Rebecca Cohn on Friday. We must ensure that this issue is not swept under the rug at a forum of this nature.

Let’s hope that both Mr. Cousteau and Darrell Dexter are willing to listen.

Wayne Mundle
Mushaboom Harbour