Sounding the Alarm in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
[UPDATE: The public consultation period has now been extended to 4th July!]
The Norwegian multinational Cermaq wants to expand production via their subsidiary Mainstream Canada and encroach further into the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Meares Island Tribal Park. The deadline for public submissions to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is tomorrow (18th June).
Bonny Glambeck of Friends of Clayoquot Sound said:
“22 fish farm sites in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is more than enough! 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. Fish farm applications have been denied before. Your letter will make a difference”.
Protestors took to the streets of Tofino on Wednesday to ask Cermaq to ‘cut the crap’ and delivered fish farm manure to the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (after finding the DFO office closed).
Local opposition is building with Tofino Council joining Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce in voting to object to the 55 hectare salmon feedlot which would add about 600,000 more farmed salmon. Over 500 people have also signed a petition "calling on the B.C. government to deny Mainstream Canada’s tenure application for a new net-cage salmon farm and to place a permanent moratorium on net-cage tenures in B.C. once and for all!".
“Any new fish farm should be taking a step in the right direction, which is moving towards closed containment, not another industrial style open fish farm,” said Tofino municipal councillor Stephen Ashton in The Westerly News.
Mainstream have attempted to woo public support by claiming that the proposed farm at Plover Point in Fortune Channel has “limited life” and “will not have an impact”. However, their PR offensive - which included mini-trade shows in Tofino and Port Alberni - is back-firing. Fisherman Jeff Mikus told The Westerly News that Mainstream’s claim that there was “limited life” under the proposed site was an “outright lie”.
“I can catch 20 or 30 different species of fish there,” Mikus said. “There is sea life, there is lots of it. Last year, more dungeness crab came out of that area than anywhere else in Clayoqout Sound, so it impacts all the crab fisheries.”
Salmon Are Sacred also released a new video – “Ground-truthing salmon farming in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve” – casting doubt on Mainstream’s claims.
Farlyn Campbell, who filmed under the proposed site at Plover Point with an underwater camera over the weekend, wrote in her objection:
“I find the information that you presented on your website and in your application to be misleading, conflicting, and possibly wrong. We found abundant life: Spot prawns, Dungeness crabs, Plumose anemones, rockfish, Eelpouts, coral, Tube dwelling anemones, coral cups, rock scallops, flounders and White sea pens. Please see video of what we saw: Life on the seafloor of the proposed salmon feedlot at Plover Point, Clayoquot Sound. Your own report says that there is 40 species at Plover Point and we saw with our camera abundant life. Why does the Mainstream website say that there is ‘limited life’ at Plover Point? Why the difference? Are you trying to mislead the public?”
Alexandra Morton wrote yesterday to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands stating that: “The Mainstream website contains information that conflicts substantially with our own camera footage of the area...This all looks extremely bad”.
Mainstream have now ‘clarified’ the mis-information presented in their ‘Plover Point Q&A’: to read:
“Sunlight fails to penetrate much deeper than 100 feet, so there is limited non-motile (stationary) life on this section of ocean floor. (Please note: The words "non-motile (stationary)" were added to this statement for clarification)”.
Yet the damage has already been done and Mainstream's claims simply don't wash.
For more background watch a video - Clayoquot Sound: Wild Salmon in Trouble– from Damien Gillis.
And for more information on the waste impacts of salmon farms see “Shocking New Footage Reveals Devastation Beneath Salmon Farms”.