Friends Of Baynes Sound Society

Also find us at fobss.ca

Oyster farmer jubilant as regional district approves rezoning application

More than 80 per cent of public hearing comments against proposal

Drew A. Penner/Echo Staff / Comox Valley Echo August 28, 2014 09:06 AM

(L-R) Roberta Stevenson, executive director of the BC Shellfish Growers Association with Shao Ping Kang and Jenny Xie were thrilled with the regional district’s decision to allow them to farm oysters in Baynes Sound. – See more at: http://www.comoxvalleyecho.com/news/local/oyster-farmer-jubilant-as-regional-district-approves-rezoning-application-1.1332608#sthash.rOPciXYb.dpuf

A 30-raft seafood operation proposed for Baynes Sound passed its biggest hurdle to date as the Comox Valley Regional District gave Shao Ping Kang the rezoning approval in he was seeking during its regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 26. It’s been a long and unfamiliar journey for Kang and his wife Jenny Xie, and after the amendment was officially adopted they left to celebrate.

“It’s not easy,” said Kang, beaming. “We just tried as hard as we can. We just try what we believe in.”
The political process was a tougher slog than Kang had expected. As residents south of Courtenay got wind of the plan to expand from a beach oyster growing operation on Denman Island to deepwater aquaculture on a 2.01 hectare section of Crown land licensed tenure of water between Union Bay and Buckley Bay, angst increased.
At a public hearing over 80 per cent of formal comments opposed Kang’s bid.
The Herring Industry Advisory Board also came out against the proposal.
Rural Area A director Bruce Jolliffe, who represents residents in that part of the Comox Valley, referred the issue for further consideration to the electoral areas services committee meeting on Aug. 11.
At that stage the other two rural area directors, Edwin Grieve and Jim Gillis, officially expressed full support of Kang’s application.

The stage was set for Jolliffe’s last chance to sway one of these two peers to oppose the motion at the CVRD full board meeting, since only Area A, B and C directors could vote of the amendment.
“This applicant has asked to add industrial structures in an area fronting primarily residential land,” Jolliffe said. “This will change the environment the residents in that area have come to expect.”
If the application involved a parcel of land instead of a section of ocean, the regional district would never push through something so many residents had opposed, he contended.
“Not supporting this rezoning has been construed as not supporting the prime industry in my area – the shellfish industry,” he said. “This is not the case. On land commercial and industrial land use is supported in some parts of the community and not other parts. Yet, that community still supports commerce and industry, it just wants appropriate commerce and appropriate industry in the appropriate places.”
The shellfish industry supports about 600 workers in the Baynes Sound area, but many contend this is pushing the ecosystem past the point of sustainability.
Jolliffe referred to the failure to implement a 2002 Baynes Sound Coastal Plan – which he helped bring back into play at the last board meeting – and said it wasn’t right to barge forward with further aquaculture in the region without a more detailed explanation of what kind of development should be permitted.
“We don’t have such a tool yet for the future use of Baynes Sound,” he said. “It’s been considered in the past and never acted on. The goal of the Baynes Sound Coastal Plan that was agreed to at the last board meeting is to put in place a proper plan that will balance the needs of the residents, the shellfish industry and the sustainability of Baynes Sound’s rich aquatic environment.”
But Roberta Stevenson, executive director of the BC Shellfish Growers Association, took issue with Jolliffe’s supposed support for the aquatic ecosystem of Baynes Sound, noting he originally voted in favour of Kang’s plan to grow thousands of oysters offshore, only bowing to Not In By Back Yard concerns mid-way through the process.
“At first he supported it,” she said. “He got a lot of pressure.”
She said aquaculture is more environmentally friendly than traditional British Columbia industries.
“British Columbia has traditionally been filled with a working coast kind of atmosphere. In the old days we had logging, we had fishing, we had seine boats and trawlers,” said the paid lobbyist, in an interview. “Nowadays one in every two pieces of seafood that you eat is farmed. Rather than seeing a trawler, you’re more likely to see a shellfish farm because that’s our food today. We’re very proud that we’re not taking a resource out of the wild – we’re putting back. We’re seeding and sowing.”
Xie noted that in some ways oysters actually help cleanse the ecosystem.
“They’re filter feeders,” she said, adding she hopes the community will see a benefit in the impact their business will have. “We understand the upland residents are against it. We can have the opportunity to hire more people to do work and everything. We believe what we’re applying is helping the environment and the economy too.”
Kang pledged to work hard to run a clean operation, adding he just wants to help people eat great seafood.
“We want people to get the best oysters,” he said. “It helps the community, too.”
Ultimately Jolliffe was unable to get the other rural directors to switch sides, and Kang’s bid was approved 2-1. Stevenson said she hopes those who voiced opposition to the project will come alongside the young family as they develop their small business.
“The fact that they’re willing to invest in this kind of fragile environment with so much urbanization – hat’s off to them. Because it’s high risk,” she said. “They’re willing to put their dollars on the line to chance it for you to eat that product. All we ask from the community is support.”

© Comox Valley Echo

What’s happening around Baynes Sound

 Here is a small collection of news that is happening around Baynes Sound.


Oyster rafts back on course for final approval

A rezoning bylaw that would allow more surface oyster rafts in Baynes Sound is back on course for final approval.

See more at: Oyster rafts back on course for final approval – Via Comox Valley Echo


6,000 litres of oil removed from Deep Bay derelict

A cluster of seemingly abandoned vessels continues to threaten the shellfish industry  in Baynes Sound.

See more here: 6,000 litres of oil removed from Deep Bay derelict – Via Parksville Qualicum News


Shellfish chief hits out as oyster raft rezoning bid stumbles

A rezoning bylaw to allow more surface oyster rafts in Baynes Sound stumbled at the last hurdle on Tuesday.

See more at: Shellfish chief hits out as oyster raft rezoning bid stumbles – Via Comox Valley Record


Mixed reaction to oyster raft proposal

 

A proposal to add 30 oyster rafts in Baynes Sound met with mixed reaction among 18 attendees at a recent public hearing at the regional district board room.

See more at: Mixed reaction to oyster raft proposal – Via Comox Valley Record

DFO’s Big Clam Plans VIA The Tyee

DFO’s Big Clam Plans

Feds about to open far more BC coast to industrial geoduck operations.
By Kristian Secher, July 16, 2014, TheTyee.ca

Geoduck species of clam hauled from bottom of ocean off BC coast by divers. Photo courtesy Underwater Harvesters Association.


The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is about to let a lot more people in on the boom as the federal agency finalizes plans to greatly open up B.C. coastal areas to commercial geoduck farming.
Big, rude in appearance, and a delicacy sold for $80 a pound in some restaurants in Asia, the geoduck clam is a bonanza for those who raise it or gather it wild along British Columbia’s coast.

Up until now only a few such aquaculture sites in the Strait of Georgia have been operating, but demand for geoducks has grown steeply over the past 15 years. Most of the mollusks are exported to Asia where they are sought after by some for their supposed aphrodisiac properties.

In 2013 the estimated revenue of wild geoduck fisheries was $50 million, making it B.C.’s most profitable dive fishery.

Now there’s a push to move towards aquaculture as shellfish growers want to get in on the lucrative market as well. And the DFO, which in 2010 assumed responsibility over most aspects of aquaculture operations in B.C., is poised to open up more areas and grant more licences to expand the industry.

But for residents on Denman Island, who live right next to Baynes Sound where more than 50 per cent of B.C.’s shellfish is produced, the new geoduck plan is a sign of trouble to come.

Who’s in charge?

Shelley McKeachie, director of the Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards, a local organisation of concerned islanders, said the current level of aquaculture was already causing problems — a walk on the island’s beaches during low tide revealed as much.

As the water pulled away, large areas covered in predator netting became visible; further south the industry impact was more apparent with metal structures scattered across the beach, seemingly abandoned and left to rust.

McKeachie said upwards of 90 per cent of the island’s west coast was like this.

When the tide returned, a red pickup truck made its way across the sand hauling clams to the processing plant. The driver was smiling, apparently unaware it’s illegal to drive on beaches. McKeachie said such practices were the norm rather than the exception.

“They seem to be in a gold rush mentality and it’s like there’s no end to what they wish to do,” she said.

Shelley McKeachie amidst oyster shells on Metcalf Bay, Denman Island. She’s advocated for 15 years against increasing shellfish aquaculture in Baynes Sound, claiming the area can’t sustain it. Photo by Kristian Secher.

On top of that is the debris from industry that washes ashore. Last year the islanders collected between three and four tonnes, said McKeachie — most of it plastics. “This is the water we all have to eat from,” she said.

She worries that the new geoduck venture will only lead to more of the same.

When McKeachie complained to DFO over the issues she was taken aback by their response. They told her they had no means to enforce the rules or fine shellfish growers — their only option was to advise them to follow the guidelines. “There seems to be nothing sacred. Industry just gets whatever they want,” said McKeachie.

David Graham is serving his last term as a representative for Denman Island in the Islands Trust, the federation of self-governing islands in B.C. He is equally frustrated with DFO’s handling of the shellfish issue which he said ignores the Islands Trust’s authority.

Most of the areas that DFO have cleared for aquaculture are regions that the Islands Trust has designated as protected marine areas, said Graham. While the trust maintains the ability to deny new tenures, DFO’s plan allows for existing ones to switch to geoduck without applying for new permits.

“That’s not fair from a local government’s point of view,” said Graham. He said the current level of industry is out of scale but that it’s near impossible for the trust to get a say in the matter as DFO won’t include them on its shellfish advisory board.

Workers collecting clams on the north beach of Denman Island must work quickly between tides. Most tenures, once held by locals, are now owned by outside companies, many outside Canada. Photo by Kristian Secher

With the new geoduck plan about to be finalised, Graham expects “interesting times ahead.”

McKeachie worries about the environmental impact when geoduck tenures start popping up around the island. A common practice for growing geoduck involves planting geoduck seeds in PVC pipes, leaving them in the water for the seven to eight years it takes a geoduck to reach maturity.

The first PVC pipes have already been installed on the island’s west coast and in mid-June McKeachie discovered the installation was being expanded. She has a bad feeling about what the island’s coast will look like a few years from now.

“I’m just so damn mad at what they’re doing [to this island],” she said.

‘Larger-scale research is required’

Despite the interest in geoduck aquaculture in B.C., little is known about potential impacts on the marine environment — in fact, only two papers on the subject have been published to date.

The latest was done by a group of DFO scientists but the results were inconclusive and with lots of caveats. Scientists only looked at a small-scale geoduck farm with one harvest over a period of a year — which the authors noted was not comparable to the large-scale operations driven by industry with multiple harvests over seven to eight years.

“Larger-scale research is required to examine potential effects,” said the scientists in their conclusion.

One area that Dr. Doug Hay, a former DFO scientist, would like to see examined is the long-term effects of geoduck aquacultures on herring. He said the areas that will be opened to aquaculture around Denman Island in Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel are “smack dab” in some of B.C.’s most important areas for herring. Nearly one in four of B.C.’s herring spawn in these areas, he said, and there’s no telling what impact industrial geoduck aquaculture will have on that.

“That’s the problem,” said Hay. “If we don’t know then it’s not a good idea to open up these sensitive parts of the coast to this kind of development.”

Previous disruptions to herring habitats have been known to end spawning in those areas.

For big clams, expansion plans. Click to see larger map of Denman Island areas, formerly closed to geoduck aquaculture, slated to be opened by DFO (in green). Illustration by April Alayon.

 

Hay is not against aquaculture but stresses that we need to find areas where it can be done without jeopardizing other resources.

Dr. Ian Birtwell, another former DFO scientist, agrees.

From his home next to Baynes Sound he has a direct view of the contested waters and he’s concerned about what he sees.

“What we have right now is an unbridled expansion,” he said, adding that the federal government seems to be practising “little management at all.”

He’s worried that the sound won’t be able to sustain much more but fears government and industry will keep developing until something happens.

“It’s human nature,” he said. “Once we commodify an item we exploit it until we can’t do it anymore.”

‘We need to reseed what we take’

Eric Gant is of another opinion. The former gold miner and wild geoduck fisher, now turned aquaculturist, believes that aquaculture is the only way of ensuring a sustainable future. If he had his way all wild fisheries would be replaced by seafood farming operations.

“We need to reseed what we take out of the land or the environment is going to turn on us,” he said, with a nod to the decline of wild fish stocks all around the world because of overfishing.

Gant is ready for DFO’s new geoduck venture. At his geoduck hatchery, he showed water tanks that currently hold some four million tiny black geoduck seeds. Once they’ve grown larger they will be planted like potatoes in the ocean. Gant plans to do that with the help of K’ómoks First Nation, who have six geoduck tenure applications ready and want to make their $30-million shellfish business in Baynes Sound an $80-million one with the help of the giant clam.

Still, Gant is frustrated with DFO’s plan which he feels favours the wild fisheries, leaving aquaculture with what he called ill-suited areas for growing geoduck.

Richard Hardy of K’ómoks Nation agrees. He is working to advance the band’s geoduck plans and is general manager of band-operated Pentlatch Seafoods, which will be in charge of any future geoduck business.

Hardy said DFO’s new plan disregards the First Nation’s ongoing treaty process which encompasses all of Baynes Sound and the surrounding territory — territory the DFO is instead allowing non-First Nations shellfish growers to use.

Eric Gant in his geoduck hatchery south of Courtenay. Each tank holds millions of small geoduck seeds grown for planting in the ocean. Gant dived for wild geoducks but decided farming them is more sustainable. Photo by Kristian Secher.

 

“It’s not accidental,” he said of DFO’s decision. “It’s a blatant disregard of the process.”

Both Gant and Hardy said there are a lot of misconceptions about how geoduck aquaculture in B.C. will be. They say they have no plans of planting PVC pipes and will be harvesting far offshore to ensure the least possible disturbance to island inhabitants and the environment — a message they both said had been largely ignored by aquaculture opponents around Baynes Sound.

Gant expressed frustrations with getting his points across, claiming his involvement with aquaculture made him subject to a “witch hunt”. He’d like more dialogue but said he’s given up trying to create it.

Hardy said K’ómoks Nation have been stewarding and living of the land in the region for thousands of years.

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “Why would we do something that could possibly compromise this area?”

DFO expects to have its final plan available in fall 2014.

 

From – http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/07/16/Big-Clam-Plans/

Market Days – Geoduck Hatchery tour – Mixed reaction to oyster raft proposal

Market Day

Downtown Courtenay July 19

Come on down and see our booth this Saturday at Market Day. We are going to be near Billy D’s Pub on Fifth St. 9 Am till 7 Pm

Come and Vote for your favorite photo in our second annual Market Day Photo Contest.

Sample of last years photos

 


 Chance to check out whats happening at Gartley Point Hatchery


 

Mixed reaction to oyster raft proposal

By Comox Valley Record
Published: July 15, 2014 09:00 AM
Updated: July 15, 2014 09:369 AM

 

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

A proposal to add 30 oyster rafts in Baynes Sound met with mixed reaction among 18 attendees at a recent public hearing at the regional district board room.

Oyster farmer Shao Ping Kang said he intends to create jobs, benefit the local economy, and mitigate negative impacts on marine life and habitat.

He was supported by Courtenay resident Jenny Xie and by Roberta Stevenson, executive director of the BC Shellfish Growers Association. The latter said shellfish farming is a solid means of employment that provides an opportunity for immigrants.

Union Bay resident Janet Thomas — concerned about increased amounts of plastic and garbage — cited studies about levels of micro plastics in Baynes Sound. Noting styrofoam debris from the breakup of oyster rafts, she advocates a limit to future “biofouling” in the waters.

Stevenson — confident Kang intends to address issues of plastic debris — said it is in the best interest of farmers to avoid adding plastics to the water or to have trays go astray. She notes the shellfish industry is highly regulated and that farmers must comply or risk losing their licence.

Kang has requested a rezoning from aquaculture AQ-1 to AQ-2 to use structures less than one metre above water.

Thomas called for a moratorium on further expansion until a study is conducted to determine the state of the water and carrying capacity for aquaculture in Baynes Sound. She noted the area suffered a loss of scallops in February due to ocean acidification.

She presented 50-plus submissions from residents opposed to the rezoning proposal.

“Ninety per cent of Baynes Sound is already leased, and now they want to put 30 more oyster rafts down here,” fellow Union Bay resident Carolyn Touhey said. “It’s not that we were against the rafts per se, it’s that we don’t feel due diligence has been done on an environmental standpoint.”

Despite opposition from residents, Touhey suggested the application has been “ramrodded through.” She questioned if there are other more industrialized locations such as Fanny Bay that could work for the applicant.

“It just seems like there’s not a compromise,” she said.

Area A director Bruce Jolliffe, who chaired the June 16 meeting, said the application is following the standard rezoning process.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations — not the CVRD — regulates aquaculture and will decide whether or not to grant a tenure. The area is already zoned AQ-1, which means the ministry could grant a tenure without a rezoning, Jolliffe added.

The application is up for final reading. Jolliffe, Area B director Jim Gillis and Area C director Edwin Grieve will vote on the rezoning.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 


 

 

 

 

Oyster raft rezoning supported despite residents’ objections – Via Comox Valley Echo

Oyster raft rezoning supported despite residents’ objections

Click me to see original article via Comox Valley Echo

Proposals for more surface oyster rafts in Baynes Sound are on the cusp of being approved despite written objections submitted by more than 50 residents of the area.
Third reading of a rezoning bylaw that would allow 30 additional rafts in a new area of the Sound has now been passed by the Comox Valley Regional District board, following a public hearing at which both opponents and supporters were heard.
The applicant, Shao Ping Kang, is seeking approval to change the ‘aquaculture 1′ zoning of a 2.01 hectare Crown land licensed tenure in area of water between Union Bay and Buckley Bay.
If final approval is given to rezone it to ‘aquaculture 2,’ visible rafts in the area will be allowed as long as no structure is higher than 1 metre (just over 3 feet).
The applicant told the public hearing he had been an oyster farmer in the area for nine years, and outlined his intention to benefit the local economy, mitigate negative impacts on marine life and habitat, and continue to be a good neighbour to surrounding residents.
His application was supported by Roberta Stevenson on behalf of the BC Shellfish Growers’ Association. She said aquaculture was a good means of employment and a great opportunity for immigrants, adding it was consistent with the official community plan, and was regarded worldwide as a green, sustainable industry.  Stevenson also expressed confidence that the applicant intended to address any concerns over plastic debris, while acknowledging all industries had a “footprint.”
But the Herring Industry Advisory Board joined those opposing the plan.
At the CVRD board meeting, rural Area A director Bruce Jolliffe said coming to a decision on the application had proved challenging for him.
Real concerns had been expressed by residents looking out over Baynes Sound as the rezoning would extend the most northerly end of the existing ‘aquaculture 2′ area, introducing rafts in to a new area of water.
He acknowledged aquaculture was a critical industry in the area.  It was a multi-million dollar operation with many companies providing valuable employment for hundreds of people – and the shellfish grown there were world-renowned.
But at the same time homeowners and bed-and-breakfast businesses in the area had expressed concerns, not just over the visual aspect of more rafts but about the potential ecological impact and the fact there was no effective control over the type of structures that would go in, other than their height.
Jolliffe noted that in the Power River area a wider aquaculture plan helped guide the development of the industry to get a better balance between those with interests on land and those working the ocean.  It was a pity no such plan yet existed for the Baynes Sound area.
But Comox Coun. Tom Grant said Jolliffe should stop feeling conflicted and just offer full and enthusiastic backing to the shellfish industry.
“I don’t see the problem you’re having here,” said Grant. “We’ve just had a great shellfish festival celebrating aquaculture.  If the shellfish growers require infrastructure to do their job and build up the industry, we should be supporting them – not showing angst.”
Jolliffe assured Grant he fully supported the shellfish industry, but having heard the comments at the public hearing and concerns submitted in writing there were issues of “ambience.”
In the same way people might not want a tall apartment block go up in the middle of a low-rise residential area, so people here were concerned about prominence, placement and potential impact of infrastructure sought by some types of aquaculture operation.
The Area A advisory planning committee had also expressed concerns about the rezoning.  They had sought reassurance that the application would not negatively affect other shellfish tenures and the overall sustainability of Baynes Sound.
In the end, the board decision to give third reading to the rezoning bylaw was unanimous, leaving only what is expected to be the formality of a final CVRD approval vote at a future meeting.
However, the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Transport Canada need to complete the processing of the application, but have been waiting for local government approval.
One of the leading local objectors to the plan, Carolyn Touhey, stressed she was not against the growth of the aquaculture industry, but it had to be sensitively done.  “It’s not about ‘us’ and ‘them’,” she told the Echo.  “We can all win if we work together collectively.”
She considered the large number of objectors from a small community like Union Bay was significant, but she considered their rural area director had not adequately represented them.
In her view, the rezoning plan was just being ramrodded through with the help of a paid lobbyist and could now set a precedent for further areas of Baynes Sound to end up hosting ugly rafts, potentially impacting property values and threatening the ecology of the area.
pround@comoxvalleyecho.com

© Comox Valley Echo

 

Repost: Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

Sorry about that last post! Fixed spelling and Links to website

 

Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

The goal of this invitational, two-day workshop was to address the ecological challenges facing Baynes Sound. Presentations and dialogue examined the ecological characteristics of the area and examined the multiple uses. Case study presentations from elsewhere brought perspectives to the dialogue as participants sought solutions for the management of sensitive marine ecosystems such as Baynes Sound.

Participation in the workshop was by invitation and invitees included international experts, government (federal and regional), industry, academia, and ngo representatives from British Columbia, Quebec, the United States and Europe.

Please follow this link to read the reports: Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

 

P.S. I find it interesting how many of our photos were used on these cases studies.

 

Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

The goal of this invitational, two-day workshop was to address the ecological challenges facing Baynes Sound. Presentations and dialogue examined the ecological characteristics of the area and examined the multiple uses. Case study presentations from elsewhere brought perspectives to the dialogue as participants sought solutions for the management of sensitive marine ecosystems such as Baynes Sound.

Participation in the workshop was by invitation and invitees included international experts, government (federal and regional), industry, academia, and ngo representatives from British Columbia, Quebec, the United States and Europe.

Please follow this link to read the reports: Management of Sensitive Marine Ecosystems: Lessons from Case Studies to Identify Solutions for Baynes Sound

 

P.S. I find it interesting how many of our photos were used on these cases studies.

 

A note from Association of Denman Island Marine Stewards

 

Geoducks Tubes on Denman

Credit: Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards

June 13, 2014

Hello All,

Sad news to report. Yesterday, during the low tide, on the west side of
Denman, between Metcalfe Bay and Hinton Rd., where a ‘test patch’ of
geoduck PVC pipes had already been installed, the tenure owner and two
workers used a power auger to install a large area of PVC pipe to start
cultivation of intertidal geoduck (see photo attached). This is an existing
tenure that had listed geoduck as one of the possible species for
cultivation in their management plan and there are a number of other
tenures on Denman Island that are like this.

As well, existing tenures that don’t have geoduck listed can apply to add
geoduck to their management plan. DFO has told us this would involve an
application to Front Counter BC but it is unclear if that would trigger a
referral to our local government, the Trust.

I have reported this to the DFO Observe, Record and Report (ORR) number
asking for an investigation and also to the DFO aquaculture manager, March
Klaver, asking if they have submitted the required seeding plan and
obtained the necessary transfer permit for geoduck seed from DFO. We are
doing what we can but the truth is, as we feared, the door has swung open.

*Shelley McKeachie*
Co-Chair, Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards (ADIMS)

Get your letter in by 4 PM today! Public meeting starts at 7 PM


PH Notice BL329
Recommendations from the Advisory Planing Committee to the regional district:
P. RUTGERS / B. LIVESEY: THAT the Area ‘A’ advisory planning
commission recommend that the Comox Valley Regional District directors
request staff to obtain scientific information (documentation) to
determine that this proposed application does not negatively affect
other shellfish tenures and overall sustainability of Baynes Sound;
AND THAT the potential community impacts of the proposal be adequately
documented.
CARRIED
The Comox Valley Regional District has just announced a Public Hearing to take place on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 7PM regarding changing the zoning of the aquatic crown area from AQ-1 to AQ-2 in the area of southern Union Bay.Please note that if this zoning is approved, then aquaculture rafts will now be allowed in this area of Union Bay near Muschamp Road.  For example, a pending aquaculture application filed by Kao Ping Kang which is for 30 additional rafts plus mooring lines, navigational markers and anchor blocks for the scallop and oyster industry could be allowed to go forward if this zoning is changed.

Over 90% of Baynes Sound is under aquaculture tenure.  Many residents have declared “enough is enough” aquaculture in Baynes Sound!  Over the last several years, aquaculture has expanded dramatically in our area, according to the Deep Bay Marine Field Research Station, even though the last Management Plan in 2002 acknowledged that we may have already hit the threshold of ecological carrying capacity.If you can’t attend the Hearing, please submit a written Submission by Monday, June 16th at 4:30PM as per the Hearing Notice. Attached find a list of reasons why rafts are despised by local residents.Please put June 16th on your calendar and be sure to prepare a Submission.

REASONS WHY RAFTS ARE THE MOST DESPISED INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE IN THE
AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY:

scenic views are destroyed – upland owners of rafts have their ocean
views destroyed when the landscape becomes an industrial site (booms,
storage of equipment, industrial equip  such as  generators, power
washers etc.)

noise pollution becomes a problem for upland owners (i.e. noise caused
by power washers, generators, winches, booms).  For example, power
washers start at dawn even on Sundays and holidays and go all day.
This noise pollution sounds like an float plane taking off over and
over again as the decibel level keeps changing from a high to low
pitch which can be really irritating.

upland owners can suffer air pollution from the smell from the trays;
power washing can smell horrid and stinky.

there is a huge amount of debris pollution of plastic.  Probably 80%
of the plastic found washed up in Baynes Sound comes from the rafts
such as lost trays.  (Equipment is sometimes not secured well; and
during storms equipment is strewn into the Sound; hanging columns are
torn off and end up on the bottom of the Sound or washed ashore.)

Styrofoam pollution is a huge issue when the flotation from the rafts
breaks off and breaks apart into small pellets.  Those pellets,
sometimes referred to as “beads”,  can be found all over our beaches.
These pellets will NEVER break down and birds ingest the small round
pellets, leaving them poisoned or starved.  Any new floats are
supposed to be encapsulated, but the encapsulation is easily
penetrated, and there are thousands of the old rafts with the bare
styrofoam chunks still in use.  There is little or no enforcement to
make sure that old styrofoam is no longer used.
There is a loss of property value for upland owners of aquaculture
rafts. If one is unlucky to have rafts anchored in front of one’s
home, property values will devalue, making it very difficult to sell a
home since no one wants to be living next to an noisy, smelly, ugly
industrial site!

There is a hazard and loss of area for navigation.  Rafts create
hazards for other user groups such as for log boom operators and boat
operators especially in busy areas, particularly at dusk or in the
dark.  Rafts take up a lot of room and preclude riparian rights for
anchorage, fishing, crabbing, etc.

Loss of area for other industrial user groups whose gear and equipment
will get hung up on raft structure and anchorage  such as in the
commercial herring industry, the Wild Harvest Association, Crabbers
and Prawners, and other fishermen, as well as all recreational
fishermen.

There are serious environmental concerns such as rearing food in
plastic, using anti-fouling agents on equipment and baskets, as well
as the inevitable collection of garbage and effluent below the rafts.

 

More Aquaculture rafts in Union Bay? Public Hearing Monday, June 16 Have your say!

PH Notice BL329
Recommendations from the Advisory Planing Committee to the regional district:
3360-20/ RZ 2A 13 – proposed zoning bylaw amendment- Shao Ping Kang
– Crown land tenure (license of occupation) covered by water being
part of the bed of Baynes Sound, Nanaimo District, between Buckley and
Union Bay
P. RUTGERS / B. LIVESEY: THAT the Area ‘A’ advisory planning
commission recommend that the Comox Valley Regional District directors
request staff to obtain scientific information (documentation) to
determine that this proposed application does not negatively affect
other shellfish tenures and overall sustainability of Baynes Sound;
AND THAT the potential community impacts of the proposal be adequately
documented.
CARRIED
The Comox Valley Regional District has just announced a Public Hearing to take place on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 7PM regarding changing the zoning of the aquatic crown area from AQ-1 to AQ-2 in the area of southern Union Bay.Please note that if this zoning is approved, then aquaculture rafts will now be allowed in this area of Union Bay near Muschamp Road.  For example, a pending aquaculture application filed by Kao Ping Kang which is for 30 additional rafts plus mooring lines, navigational markers and anchor blocks for the scallop and oyster industry could be allowed to go forward if this zoning is changed.

Over 90% of Baynes Sound is under aquaculture tenure.  Many residents have declared “enough is enough” aquaculture in Baynes Sound!  Over the last several years, aquaculture has expanded dramatically in our area, according to the Deep Bay Marine Field Research Station, even though the last Management Plan in 2002 acknowledged that we may have already hit the threshold of ecological carrying capacity.If you can’t attend the Hearing, please submit a written Submission by Monday, June 16th at 4:30PM as per the Hearing Notice. Attached find a list of reasons why rafts are despised by local residents.Please put June 16th on your calendar and be sure to prepare a Submission.

REASONS WHY RAFTS ARE THE MOST DESPISED INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE IN THE
AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY:

scenic views are destroyed – upland owners of rafts have their ocean
views destroyed when the landscape becomes an industrial site (booms,
storage of equipment, industrial equip  such as  generators, power
washers etc.)

noise pollution becomes a problem for upland owners (i.e. noise caused
by power washers, generators, winches, booms).  For example, power
washers start at dawn even on Sundays and holidays and go all day.
This noise pollution sounds like an float plane taking off over and
over again as the decibel level keeps changing from a high to low
pitch which can be really irritating.

upland owners can suffer air pollution from the smell from the trays;
power washing can smell horrid and stinky.

there is a huge amount of debris pollution of plastic.  Probably 80%
of the plastic found washed up in Baynes Sound comes from the rafts
such as lost trays.  (Equipment is sometimes not secured well; and
during storms equipment is strewn into the Sound; hanging columns are
torn off and end up on the bottom of the Sound or washed ashore.)

Styrofoam pollution is a huge issue when the flotation from the rafts
breaks off and breaks apart into small pellets.  Those pellets,
sometimes referred to as “beads”,  can be found all over our beaches.
These pellets will NEVER break down and birds ingest the small round
pellets, leaving them poisoned or starved.  Any new floats are
supposed to be encapsulated, but the encapsulation is easily
penetrated, and there are thousands of the old rafts with the bare
styrofoam chunks still in use.  There is little or no enforcement to
make sure that old styrofoam is no longer used.
There is a loss of property value for upland owners of aquaculture
rafts. If one is unlucky to have rafts anchored in front of one’s
home, property values will devalue, making it very difficult to sell a
home since no one wants to be living next to an noisy, smelly, ugly
industrial site!

There is a hazard and loss of area for navigation.  Rafts create
hazards for other user groups such as for log boom operators and boat
operators especially in busy areas, particularly at dusk or in the
dark.  Rafts take up a lot of room and preclude riparian rights for
anchorage, fishing, crabbing, etc.

Loss of area for other industrial user groups whose gear and equipment
will get hung up on raft structure and anchorage  such as in the
commercial herring industry, the Wild Harvest Association, Crabbers
and Prawners, and other fishermen, as well as all recreational
fishermen.

There are serious environmental concerns such as rearing food in
plastic, using anti-fouling agents on equipment and baskets, as well
as the inevitable collection of garbage and effluent below the rafts.

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