Category Archives: Media
Expressing my concern by pictures. Aquaculture has been growing in Baynes Sound. Only 10 per cent is left for nature and recreation, free from aquaculture tenures. However right now applications for shellfish operations are being applied for between Gartley Point and Union Bay, in the face of Comox Valley residents and adjacent to the Courtenay Estuary. Sandy Island and Henry Bay, in the Marine Park, may not be protected now either.
This video is a plead for action to preserve the last 10 per cent of Baynes Sound for recreation and nature. A green space/buffer zone for people to relax and aquatic creature to live in harmony, apart from the aquaculture industry.
News Flash! Industrial Aquaculture 40 Raft Tenure Site is being installed at Henry Bay in Breach of Marine Conservation Waters (W1).
Wow! What an ugly mess on Denman Island with the unbelievably huge number of oyster trays/baskets/rope/styrofoam as seen in Gord Kurbis’ story on the news today on CTV. As the Denman Islander states in the story, all sorts of birds and marine animals will ingest the plastic and styrofoam and suffer a horrible death. There is no excuse not to do better than this. There must be better control of oyster farming debris so that it doesn’t all end up dumped into Baynes Sound or on our shores.Doug McIntyre
|CVRD invites input on Royston waterfront trail design
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is inviting public comment on its plan to reconstruct the former trail along the Royston foreshore beginning one lot south of Chinook Road and extending via Hilton Road to the bottom of Lince Road, a recently constructed gravel road.
Input will be sought on the trail and foreshore protection design concepts at a public open house on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Fallen Alders Hall at 3595 Royston Road. Presentations by the design team will take place at 5:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The CVRD received a grant from the Province of British Columbia in March of this year to assist in the funding of the project. Earlier this summer, the CVRD hired ISL Engineering and Aquaparian Environmental services to assess the trail corridor and gather information on foreshore and marine habitat, the extent of the erosion and required stream and ditch crossings. Overtime, the waves have eroded sections of the old railway grade and winter storms have dislodged rock fill – leaving sinking holes and exposing log cribbing.
“Based on the consultant’s findings, conceptual designs drawings with proposed erosion protection and trail options have been prepared for this open house,” said Bruce Jolliffe, CVRD’s director for Baynes Sound-Denman/Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’). “We encourage people to participate by asking questions and providing feedback on the project renderings.”
For those who cannot make the meeting, design concepts and project information will be posted by October 24 at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/roystontrail.
If you have questions about the project, please contact Karin Albert, CVRD parks planner, at 250-334-6000 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.
Food Protection Branch
Oct. 17, 2012
Dear Mr. Caine: Re license granted to harvest seaweed between Deep Bay and Qualicum
I am extremely disappointed in the recent approval by your ministry to harvest 1,000 tonnes of seaweed and wonder if you have any idea of the damage to the marine ecosystem that will result? Seaweeds are the cornerstone of the marine food chain and in these days of collapsing salmon stocks, this will contribute to their demise.
Are you also aware that this area is the jurisdiction of the Denman Island Trust which according to the Trust Act extends to the high water mark on Vancouver Island? Were they consulted before making this decision and are you aware that this would contravene the Denman Island marine section of the Official Community Plan?
Are you also aware that allowing vehicles to drive on the beach (as part of the harvesting process) destroys fish habitat by compacting the shore which makes it impossible for forage fish to spawn?
Please let me know if you would like any research materials on the above mentioned issues.
Denman Island Forage Fish Group
Sea cucumber farm details made public
Lise Broadley, Comox Valley Echo
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
If the applicants have their way, two proposed sea cucumber farms in Baynes Sound could involve underwater netting, tubing and cement blocks.
The management plans for the aquaculture ventures were released last week following a Freedom of Information request and they show more details about the proposed sea cucumber farms – one covering 155 hectares and the other 107.
Those details include different options for creating environments attractive for juvenile sea cucumbers, as well as a better idea of the seeding and harvesting plans for the two tenures.
“In the sub-tidal nursery areas, the juvenile sea cucumbers need protection from predators for the first 6-8 months. We have identified several known predators such as diving ducks, sea stars, crabs and fish. We will use several methods of on-bottom protection for the juveniles as part of the research,” he wrote.Dan Bowen, one of the applicants in the larger venture and a consultant on the smaller, wrote the nearidentical management plans for the joint research and commercial operations. In the plan he indicates that a number of options exist for placing predator protection in the subtidal area of Baynes Sound.
“The planned physical nursery area will have several natural oyster shelled features in specific patterns with different shapes contained with heavy fish net, poly-coated gabion and/or concrete cube or reef ball type protection to be placed on the substrate to provide sanctuary for the juvenile sea cucumbers. The sea cucumbers will remain in the protected area for about five to six months.”
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources is in the process of weighing the application for Crown land tenure. If granted, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Transport Canada will also have to provide approval for specific parts of the project before it can go ahead. The formal public comment period on the tenure application wrapped up this week, but the Ministry has indicated that written comments will still be accepted until they make a written report on the matter. It’s not clear when that will be.
The proposed sea cucumber farms have drawn plenty of ire from Comox Valley residents who fear the industrialization of Baynes Sound. The body of water is a popular recreational area and already home to numerous shellfish growers responsible for about half the commercial shellfish grown in B.C.
A recent meeting of the Friends of Baynes Sound, a group formed in reaction to the proposed farms, drew over 100 people concerned about their impact and bent on preventing the applications from being approved.
Until the business plans were released last week, some details of the aquaculture farms have been unavailable to the public; however some areas of the plans are blacked out under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Under Section 21, items can be held back from public knowledge if they could be harmful to the business interests of a third party.
The proposed management plan indicates that there will be no need for marker floats, though Bowen has since said that buoys may be necessary to mark specific locations in Baynes Sound.
Also in the plan, Bowen describes how the young sea cucumbers, grown at the Gartley Point Hatchery, will be seeded and harvested.
“To schedule harvest times, we are working with an area rotation within the tenure based on three larger areas. Each are will be planted at one year intervals in order to get annual harvest times. Within each area… nursery stations will be set up. (25 nursery areas each year for three years). Each 1.0 ha nursery area will contain five nursery stations. This planting strategy will start up the timing for the harvest cycle that will be able to provide product that will be available 12 months of the year from the larger tenure area of 1.55 ha,” wrote Bowen.
The management report indicated that there have been ongoing discussions with DFO to ensure that the sea cucumbers remain in the designated area and don’t interfere with the natural population, though Bowen and the applicants argue that containment is not necessary.
“In both cases out research will provide hard scientific data to resolve these DFO concerns… Based on…past research and the research of other biologists who have written reports and abstracts about sea cucumbers’ movement we will confirm that containment is not necessary. Our biologists will provide a record of sea cucumber movement, it will be a revelation.”"In our discussions with DFO and others there is clear message of concern that there is the need to contain sea cucumbers within the tenure. DFO has advised our group from the first discussions that they have two main issues they believe must be addressed. First, the possible genetic variation of hatchery spawned Parastichopus californicus by escapement and interacting with the wild stock. Second concern is introduction of disease of hatchery stock,” he wrote.
Bowen then goes on to indicate that fencing, as requested by DFO, creates an unhealthy environment and an unpopular product with consumers.
However, at a meeting hosted by the proponents in June, Bowen said that DFO still required the use of underwater fencing to contain the animals.
To submit written comments on the proposed farms email AuthorizingAgency.Nanaimo@ gov.bc.ca or write to the manager, aquaculture, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations at 2500 Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay, B.C., V9N 5M6.
© Comox Valley Echo 2012
This document was obtained by a Freedom of Information Request from
the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.
Note: All information specifically about the number of sea cucumbers which will be planted has been withheld from the public.
There are, in fact, three passages which are marked as “s.21″ or “Disclosure
harmful to business interests of a third party” as follows:
(1) Information in Paragraph 6 on Page 8, under Section D “Socio-
Community” entitled “Rough planting and harvest projections” (i.e.
the number of plantings of sea cucumbers) has been withheld; and
(2) Information on Page 2 under Section 2 “Marketing” – the latter half of the paragraph has been withheld, and
(3) Page 58 has been deleted in its entirety.
I find it quite incredible that in two successive editions of the Record, you published letters from two of the original applicants for extensive sea cucumber tenures (and not identifying them as such) in Baynes Sound and nothing from the Friends of Baynes Sound on the matter.
We aren’t against sea cucumbers; we are against a proposal (actually two of them) which projects seeding and harvesting over two million sea cucumbers in an area — Baynes Sound — where a recent Department of Fisheries and Oceans (2011/2012) report estimates there are currently 30,000 wild sea cucumbers. Excess growth always depletes resources and leads to eventual collapse. Do we want that in Baynes Sound?
One of our concerns is sea cucumber excrement. Each creature produces about 600 pounds per year, which in itself is not a bad thing.
A certain amount of chicken manure in the garden is good for the garden but pile it on two feet thick and it will kill everything — and so will 1,200,000,000 pounds of sea cucumber excrement. It’s called pollution.
And there is the matter of what these additional sea cucumbers will eat and a concern with the introduction of antibiotics to control disease. And the effects of fencing or containment apparatus. These are only a few of 25 serious concerns which we have articulated to the DFO and the province.
We must remember that we all own Baynes Sound collectively and that the DFO and the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources are, in essence, hired by us to manage in the public interest, not in the interest of a few entrepreneurs.
These two aquaculture applications are for an area about 9.5 kilometers long stretching from Royston to Buckley Bay, an area that already produces about 50 per cent of B.C.’s shellfish.
There are too many unknowns about what the introduction of 65 times the present wild sea cucumber population will do to other species of shellfish, fish, birds, and animals and to the environment. Sea cucumber ranching in China, where sea cucumbers are eaten, has a history of pollution and destruction. Do we want to the chance that the result will be the same here?
Of course, letter writers Dan Bowen and Bon Thorburn support their own applications; they have a financial interest in doing so. Their letters are nothing more than commercial propaganda. You fell for it.
But for your paper to validate only one side of this inflammatory issue is reprehensible. Surely you can do better.