Aquaculture for all

Farming in Nova Scotia: Fishermen Predict Disaster

Biosecurity Welfare Water quality +9 more

NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA - Friends of Port Mouton Bay (FPMB) have called an emergency press conference to discuss and demonstrate the increasing pollution and resulting degradation of Port Mouton Bay since an aquaculture Site was established in 1995.

FPMB is supported by over 1500 lobster fishermen from Baccarro Point, Shelburne Co. to Eastern Passage, Halifax Co. They want government agencies to include, rather than avoid community involvement and to commit to - what they believe is - a fair and focused analysis of issues affecting the health and economic well being of this coastal community on Nova Scotia's South Shore.

"The ecosystem and prime fishing ground of the inner harbour of Port Mouton Bay have already been sacrificed to the existing fish farm," says the FPMB. According to them, fishermen have been forced to abandon the inner harbour because of the 'dead' zone created by the fish farm.

They estimate that up to 1500 traps have been displaced declared that the fish farm expansion will end their ability to continue fishing the area

Proposals to Locate a second aquaculture site in the basin near Port Mouton Island will result in increased fouling of fishing grounds with decomposing salmon manure, say the organisation. It will also jeopardize:

"The lobster migration route will be ruined and blocked. I can't believe that they would consider taking the Western Channel," said Eugene Broome, fisherman of 67 years experience who holds the unofficial record for the highest haul of lobster on the first day - 3000 pounds. "I fished it all my makes me sick to think about it."

"All of the scientific experiments we conducted proved the fishermen are absolutely correct," says Dr. Ron Loucks, Oceanographer. "Nuisance algae thrive, and marine habitat is degraded by fish farms in Port Mouton Bay. Low flushing rate is deemed to be at the root of the problems."

Another fear is that tourism is being hit, with the introduction of these dead zones.

"White Point Beach Resort has been a tourist destination on the South Shore of Nova Scotia since 1929. It employs over 170 residents of the local area. Were it not for the pristine beaches, rugged coastal hiking routes and old growth forests, White Point would not have been able to sustain its appeal as a unique destination in an authentically natural setting," says Danny Morton, Manager, White Point Beach Resort. "When a possibility of degradation of environmental integrity is presented by an activity, we will always support a position of caution with a respect for the principles of sustainability."

Government appears to be determined to approve aquaculture in a local marine environment that will not sustain a fish farm, sy FPMB. In fact, they bend to the pressure of industry, they sidestep democracy, and they ignore good science.

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