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Subject: Request for you to take a stand – Our Ocean Deserves to be Pesticide Free!

Dear Honourable Stephen McNeil,
As per the link below, I am writing you about my concerns with allowing aquaculture to use harmful pesticides in order to kill sea lice.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/fisheries-act-changes-worry-scientists-seafood-industry-1.2960358

You may know of me.  I am one of the administrators with People for Dogs who attended the Minister’s Forum in December. Your government kindly completed a survey prior to election in regards to the Animal Protection Act.
I live in Shelburne County in a small community called Atlantic. Our home overlooks Shelburne Harbour on the opposite coastline where Kelly’s Cove/Cooke Aquaculture has salmon farm pens.

GRAVE CONCERNS

Many residents in the area already have grave concerns about the environmental impact of open-pen aquaculture. We know that this company has used illegal toxic chemicals in the past. We know that there are close to one million fish in our harbour who are often sick with either anemia or sea lice. We know, that after cages have been relocated, that there are still dead zones on the ocean bottom years later.

USING PESTICIDES TO KILL SEA LICE

We know that millions of dollars were promised to this company to build a processing plant and it hasn’t happened.
And now we know, that government is in the process of allowing this company and others in the aquaculture industry to legally use pesticides to kill sea lice.
In summer, I see whales and porpoises who surface in front of my home. Ducks and their babies hug the coastline. While out in my husband’s fishing vessel, we’ve seen huge migrating sea turtles.

These pesticides, that could kill lobster up to 10 km away, do not disappear. They are added to our ocean. Already, the ocean bottom here is trying to deal with the excrement of millions of fish and the use of toxic chemicals. Our ocean; Canada’s Ocean Playground, does not deserve this treatment. This ocean sustains our community. Lobster fishing is the only industry that is keeping our community alive.

There has to be a better way.

As mentioned above, my experience is with animal rescue. When we had animals come into our care with lice, we knew that their immune systems were depleted. I assume, this is the case with these fish. The answer is not in releasing pesticides to kill the lice. It is with prevention. We can’t expect fish to remain healthy while living in an environment that is overpopulated with piles of their excrement below. The lice is a symptom of a much bigger issue.

Please speak up.

Our ecosystem is delicate.

This company is already using the ocean bottom as a septic system. Now to legalize pesticides instead of focusing on prevention?

When does it stop?

To apply a pesticide to a million fish perhaps several times a year for years is not an acceptable long term solution. It’s pollution.

Please stop issuing licenses for more open pen sites until arms length monitoring and acceptable regulations are established.

The past history of this company is very flawed.

Just as your government took a stand with chained dogs, I am asking you to take a stand on this issue too.

Warmest regards,
Shelly Hipson
Atlantic, Shelburne County

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