Thursday, September 24, 2015

Salmon farming coming to in my hometown?

News came out today that salmon farming giant Greig Seafood is looking at moving into Newfoundland and setting up their home base in my home town of Marystown.   According to the article, Grieg was proposing to invest $300 million to transform Placentia Bay into an aquaculture epicentre with a goal of producing 35,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon annually.    Through all this about 600 people would be employed which is work that I can tell you first hand, the hard working residents of the Burin Peninsula desperately needs!

With that being said, I really hope saner heads prevail here, as do the good folks at Newfoundland Sportman.   Accepting Greig seafoods in with open arms would be tantamount to setting up a toxic waste dump site in the bay.    The environment repurcussions of open pen salmon farming even on a much smaller scale than is being proposed here are enormous.    Farmed and Dangerous is a great website to read up on this industry and the problems that may come with it.

Naturally, Clyde Jackman, the local MHA and Stephen Harper puppet has been boasting about this opportunity like a good Conservative Choir boy.   What the good people of Marystown and surrounding area need to know however is that the Federal Conservatives will cut every corner possible, ignoring any environmental warnings and push to move forward with these types of projects regardless of the consequences.

It does not take long to search the Internet and find heaps of articles and papers discussing the impact of salmon farms on their surroundings, or on the appaling approach Stephen Harper takes to science on the matter.   Anytime there is scientific evidence against a project that Harper wants to have happen, he either buries it or ignores it.

A variety of links on these and other related topics which I quickly found are here, here, and here.
One of the most disturbing facts about salmon farms is the rediculous amount of tax payer money they take in from the government who are obligated to pay for dead fish.   Here in NB, I've heard such stories about Cook Aquaculture who operates these types of salmon farms locally. They have encountered disease with their fish rending those fish unfit for market.   The result of this is that taxpayers paid $13 Million dollars to cook for the lost product. 

What isn't written in that article however, and I only heard through word of mouth (so I cannot verify its authenticity), is that the fish disease was discovered early but instead of killing those fish while they were young, the diseased fish were kept till they were of age to go to market.   At this point, killing the fish off triggered the requirement that taxpayer dollars had to be spent to reimburse the company!

There are alternative ways to bring the salmon farming industry into an area like Marystown to create jobs safely.   That is by looking at companies like Sustainable Blue out of Nova Scotia who operates by using a closed containment system rather than open pen farming.   When my family buys salmon we only purchase Sustainable Blue product today.   

For anyone who may be from the Burin Peninsula who happens to come by this blog, please take some time to read a few of the links, read up on the alternatives and be very vocal to your federal/provincial and municipal government representives as well as to the local media.    Once you cross the line and bring in a company like Greig, there is no going back!

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