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Discussions could replace aquaculture acrimony

CANADA - The heat of the aquaculture debate could be reduced by discussions at a local Aquaculture Advisory Committee proposed by the province and the regional district.

“Members shall bring their collective knowledge to the Aquaculture Advisory Committee - contributing to the discussions and having an open mind to the information presented,” says a draft terms of reference.

“Decisions of the committee will be based on consensus through discussion,” it continues. “When the members are unable to reach a consensus a vote will be called and dissenting votes may be recorded at the member’s request.”

The new committee was first suggested in February by Clint Colins, a provincial official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands who specializes in aquaculture and provided the draft terms of reference.

After the initial suggestion was received positively by directors, an organizational meeting was held June 7 at the regional district to update the terms of reference and determine who else should be invited to the table, says Regional Manager of Economic Development Marilyn MacArthur.

The committee would “provide a means of communication from the region to the province and the federal government on issues related to aquaculture in context to the whole marine environment - finfish, shell fish and plants,” said MacArthur.

The committee would meet quarterly, or when called for by the chair, and make recommendations to the regional board, says the proposed terms of reference. An agenda would be circulated a week in advance.

Source: North Island Gazette