Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. was ordered to pay $500,000 in fines and penalties last year for illegally dumping pesticide into the Bay of Fundy. (CBC)
Fishermen and conservationists are urging the University of New Brunswick to use a $100,000 court-ordered payment to study the environmental impacts of fish farming.
Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., a division of Cooke Aquaculture, was ordered to pay $500,000 in fines by a court last year after it pleaded guilty to dumping a pesticide not approved for marine use into the Bay of Fundy.
The pesticide, Cypermethrin, killed hundreds of lobster about four years ago. A judge ordered $250,000 be paid to U.N.B. for scholarships, and another $100,000 to help fund academic research.
But so far the university has not said what that $100,000 will be spent on.
Environmentalist Matt Abbott used the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act to ask U.N.B. what it plans to do. But he only got a vague response from documents sent to him.
“I really would wish that U.N.B. was reaching out to those who were harmed to try to make sure this research was as relevant as possible,” said Abbott, with the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.
The package of documents includes an email from the acting dean of science, whose name is redacted.
It says: “I would assume that we don’t, in general, let outside groups dictate the direction of research at U.N.B.”
Another email, from the university’s director of donor relations, says the money will be used for environmental research, but beyond that U.N.B. should not provide further comment to a CBC News request.