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More data, please!
July 20, 2012
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More data, please!
By Zelda Wamzutta
3 days ago · In response to Mr. Thorburn letter; I would like to note that Mr. Thorburn was not asked at any time to leave the Friends of Baynes Sound meeting last week and was welcomed till the end. One of the members sponsoring the event recognized Mr. Thorburn as one of the Applicants for the Sea Cucumber Farm and stated to him that “This meeting was advertised for people who are opposing the Sea Cucumber Applications. Are you in opposition to them?” Mr. Thorburn’s answer (witnessed by several people) was “I haven’t decided yet.” Many attendees not only found it quite odd that he attended the meeting but also that he tried to hide his head when a photographer attempted to take his picture.Further to Mr. Thorburn’s comments regarding the benefits of sea cucumbers: Can Mr. Mr. Thorburn provide scientific data that confirms that Sea Cucumbers raised in high density conditions will benefit the sea bottom? Research shows that large coastal wetlands in China’s Dailan region converted to sea cucumber farms have resulted in the pollution of the surrounding waters. How will the Sea Cucumber wild stocks be protected by such an experiment? The introduction of farmed sea cucumbers have been devastating to the wild sea cucumber population in the northern Chinese city of Dalian. In fact, the natural habitat for Dalian’s wild sea cucumber population has essentially collapsed. References: SPC Bech-de-mer information Bulletin #29 June 2009
What about other bottom feeders which eat plankton, rotting kelp and detritus? Will there be enough food? Sea cucumbers are not the only primary consumers in the food chain in our coastal waters. What will be the impacts to other marine life if there is increased competition for a limited food supply? What about disease problems as seen in China’s sea cucumber farms? If the bags of oyster shells do not provide enough protection for the farmed sea cucumbers, what type of predator controls would be implemented?
I attended the proponents public meeting in June and these questions along with many other important questions could not be adequately answered by the Applicants. Why has the public been denied the access to the Applicants Management Plan despite numerous requests? It is far too risky to permit a scientific experiment of this unprecedented scale with uncertain outcome in a prime recreational, residential and environmentally sensitive seaside area in the heart of the Comox Valley