Cermaq’s Crime Scene in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
The Superheroes 4 Salmon are supporting local fishermen and concerned citizens in fighting a new salmon farm application in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Norwegian-owned company Cermaq (who operate under the guise of Mainstream Canada and EWOS Canada in BC) is gearing up for further expansion in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. An application for a new salmon farm at Plover Point in Fortune Channel is now under review by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands – public submissions can be made online until 18th June.
“22 fish farm sites in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is enough!” says Friends of Clayoquot Sound. The public have an opportunity to hear more about the Plover Point application in person with open houses in Tofino (14th June) and in Port Alberni (16th June).
Mainstream Canada claim in their ‘Plover Point Q&A’ that:
“All known wildlife and their habitat in the area, from herring to sea lions to shellfish to marbled murrelets to kelp and eelgrass beds, have been considered in the site application. The farm will not have an impact on them....Sunlight fails to penetrate much deeper than 100 feet, so there is limited life on this section of ocean floor.”
However, fishermen in the area don’t buy the “there is limited life” and ‘no impact’ arguments. Jeff Mikus, a local fisherman, said: “The proposed farm will undoubtedly have an impact. Fortune Channel is an important nursery ground for wild fish and is a safe haven for shellfish such as spot prawns.”
“We are basically playing Russian roulette with our ecosystem,” said Bonny Glambeck from the Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “How many farm sites are we going to have in Clayoquot Sound?”
According to Friends of Clayoquot Sound: “The Plover Point area, rich with marine life, is frequented by sea lions, porpoises, sea birds, and orcas. There are seal haul-outs at the point. Stream assessments found streams with cutthroat trout and salmon nearby. There are also productive clam beds along the shores of the Meares Island Tribal Park, as well as eelgrass and kelp beds and herring spawning areas. The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve contains most of the remaining large intact rainforest river valleys on Vancouver Island, which are critical habitat for wild salmon. Peer-reviewed science shows that wild salmon are harmed by open net-cage salmon farms that spread disease and parasites to wild fish. What gives a Norwegian-owned corporation the right to pollute BC waters and put whole ecosystems at risk?”
On Saturday (11th June), a surveillance team sent a remote video camera down to record the marine life on the sea floor under the proposed site and also visited two active salmon farms operated by Cermaq in Clayoquot Sound.
You can watch shocking video footage of the crap under Cermaq and Marine Harvest farms online via The Common Sense Canadian. Video footage of the Plover Point site and footage shot under a Cermaq salmon farm in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will also be made available online.
In May, fish farm crap from one of Cermaq’s salmon farms was delivered to the BC Parliament. In April, Alexandra Morton delivered crap back to Cermaq and Marine Harvest during a visit to their offices in Campbell River.
A team of scientists is also in Clayoquot Sound sampling wild salmon for sea lice. Last month, salmon hero Alexandra Morton visited salmon farms operated by Cermaq in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Opposition to Cermaq’s plans is building and the Plover Point application is a watershed moment.
“This application near Plover Point will test Premier Clark’s leadership and determine if she is really here to serve the needs of British Columbians – or if she will cater to the interests of foreign-owned salmon farming companies,” says Michelle Young of the Georgia Strait Alliance and the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR).
“We hope everyone, including the businesses that depend on healthy marine ecosystems in the Biosphere Reserve, or other areas will contact their MLA and oppose the granting of this or any tenure for new or expanded open net-cage salmon farms,” says Will Soltau of Living Oceans Society and CAAR.
Be a salmon hero and make a difference – submit comments online now and sign the petition: “Demand a provincial moratorium on net-cage salmon farm tenures”.
“If you are a recreational or commercial fisher, eco-tourism operator, or simply concerned about the risks posed by open-net fish farms, please take the time to submit your comments before June 18,” says Bonny Glambeck of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “Fish farm applications have been denied before. Your letter will make a difference”.