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Aquaculture questionnaire elicits resounding no

CANADA - Every person who took time to fill out a questionnaire on Aqua Fish Farms Ltd. is strongly opposed to the proposed aquaculture farm on Port Mouton Bay, said an article in the opinion section of The Queens County Advance.

In fact, the questionnaire was corrected by Summerville Centre resident, Jan Pottie, who stated the expansion involves 36 hectares, which is almost 90 acres, “not the 70 acres you report.”

Frustration over democratic rights is pronounced
Port Mouton Postmaster Sandy Brown asked, “Why do we have to fight so hard to prevent this new salmon farm being in our bay, when virtually the whole community opposes it?”

Seventy-three readers of The Queens County Advance and responded to the impartial survey that opened with summarized views from both sides of the debate. Many used “we” to denote persons in their household so the number represented is actually higher. However, it must be noted this was a questionnaire, not a scientific poll. This article will be sent to the company for a potential response.

Seventy-one of the respondents were aware of the proposal while two weren’t. The respondents are from all areas of Queens Co., and elsewhere in Nova Scotia in addition to summer residents, including Americans, and even academics.

Basically, the respondents alleged the current smaller site has already damaged the area’s fishing grounds, the larger site would further destroy them, sludge from the fish farm is moving around the bay and threatening the area’s pristine eco-system, including its beaches, and the “few” jobs associated with the proposed aquaculture project pale in comparison to jobs created by fishing, especially the lobster, Irish moss and rock weed harvests in addition to tourism.

Clyde Fisher, Southwest Port Mouton, said, “Instead of making jobs, it could and will most likely take jobs. These jobs bring more money to the fishermen and other locals and are renewable year after year, not short term. These jobs do not pollute the waters and are natural to this area. Can we in Queens County take a chance on destroying jobs while polluting our waters and beaches, all for the sake of profit for a few people elsewhere?”

Port Mouton resident, Geoff Smith added, “They do not even have the decency to process the fish here.”

The company, in past interviews, has denied the current site is hurting or destroying the area’s eco-system and that jobs and economic spin-offs are important. Aqua Fish Farms Ltd. didn’t respond to the survey.

Port Mouton resident, Elaine Roy described herself as a “fisherman’s wife. Why should just five jobs in this area make any difference when there are so many lobster fishermen that used to fish the harbour before they ruined it.”

Liverpool resident Fred Giffin said no regulations are in place to govern the removal of fecal waste. “A fish farm of approximately 500,000 salmon is like building a 70-acre barge for a community of 15,000 people, with holes in the floor to dispose of waste. The waste will accumulate, then travel to shorelines during storms.”

Many said flush rates in the bay are too low to remove the waste, creating “dead zones.”

Source: Nova News Now