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Sea cucumbers, oil pipelines and bedtime stories

Sea cucumbers, oil pipelines and bedtime stories.

Sea cucumbers, oil pipelines and bedtime stories

Rob MacDonald, Comox Valley Echo

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

By now most of us have seen the Enbridge ads on television, the ones with the cartoon depictions of jumping salmon and carefree children, clean water, blue skies, and a smattering of pixie dust to go along with the happy music and a bedtime story on the wonders of the Northern Gateway Project.

It seems that the way to sell everything these days is to shine it up and slap a “Green” label on it. I just wonder how many people actually buy this line of rubbish. Oil pipelines are not green, never were, never will be and when they leak they make a mess. I think it’s time to give the people just a little bit of credit, oil pipelines may be a necessary evil but please don’t try to tell me they are green.

Recently Mr. Dan Bowen of the Gartley Point Hatchery wrote an opinion piece in this paper extolling the wonders of Sea Cucumber ranching in Baynes Sound and as I read I started getting the same feeling I had when watching that Enbridge pipeline ad. Do these people really believe this stuff or do they assume that we are all stupid?

Green is how nature intended things to be, green is clean water and air, green is not man made, in fact green is probably best described as how things were before man/woman arrived on the scene.

Green is not dumping millions of Sea Cucumbers into Baynes Sounds and then sitting back and waiting to see what they will do. Let’s drop the labels, lose the violin music and call it like it is.

This is about money, plain and simple. It’s about a small group making a profit from something that belongs to all of us, something that should be left clean and “green” for us and our kids and our grandkids.

How can dumping millions of sea cucumbers into the sound be green, how can driving diesel boats back and forth on the sound planting, feeding and harvesting sea cucumbers be green, how can packing up millions of pounds of sea cucumbers and loading them on to aircraft to be flown halfway around the world be green, the answer is simple, it’s not!

An oil pipeline like so many of the other things in our “modern” world may not be beneficial, indeed may even be harmful to the natural environment. We do however find these things necessary at this time to maintain the comforts we have come to expect.

There is, however, nothing necessary about sea cucumber aquaculture in Baynes Sound.

Very few jobs would be created in the Comox Valley and very little revenue from the tenure lease would flow back into provincial coffers.

We risk losing the enjoyment, the beauty and the true natural wonder of the waters of Baynes Sound so that a few people may profit from selling a luxury item that is flown to Asia to be consumed.

Sea cucumbers may be useful in cleaning up the mess left under salmon farm pens and perhaps Mr. Bowen should look there to spread his version of “green” aquaculture; he will however need a lot more than pixie dust to convince me.

Rob Macdonald Royston


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