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Cumberland BC Cumberlander: What’s all the stink about Sea Cucumbers?

Cumberland BC Cumberlander: Articles.

What’s all the stink about Sea Cucumbers?
Zelda Wamzutta
The deadline for public input on the two Sea Cucumber Applications is quickly approaching on Tuesday, July 31st.

Just in the knick of time, comes a response with the Proponents’ Business Plan to a Freedom of Information Request from the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government.
Click on this link to find that Document –

I think it all boils down to this: why did the Proponents keep this Business Plan under wraps until now? My guess is that the information about 4.6 million plus 6.2 million = 10.8 million sea cucumbers being a harvested a year from Gartley Point to Buckley Bay wouldn’t sit well with residents. Indeed those figures are not given in the Document. However, it’s only a matter of doing a little math to figure out how much 1,500 metric tonnes a year of sea cucumbers would work out to be. (See Page 15 of Document.)

Also, take a look at the diagrams of blue predator tubing on Pages 53 and 56. There is a note that the tubing will be “removed after 4-6 months”. What if there is a storm that bounces around those tubes along with the 1.5 metre high containment fencing (see Page 29)? These plastic materials will undoubtedly end up on our beaches, causing even more biofouling in Baynes Sound.

If you have a few minutes this weekend, go to this link and follow the instructions to send in your Letter of Concern to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources –
“CC’s” can also be sent to DFO and other governmental contacts. The deadline is Tuesday, July 31st.


2 responses to “Cumberland BC Cumberlander: What’s all the stink about Sea Cucumbers?

  1. Dan July 28, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Hi to all the FOBS and the Cumberlander,

    The question about why we didn’t provide the management plan to start with……… Information Meeting # 1 your 4 organizers didn’t even invite me to that meeting, it was only by my efforts to phoning Bill that I was allowed to attend. He was nice enough to invite me. Your organizers made me feel welcome saying I could not put up my information storyboard or the Information brochures then gave me 15 minute to explain the plan then would not allow questions. This was an oversight. You forgot to ask the applicants for the information!
    Sorry, nobody ever asked me for a copy of the Sea Cucumber Management Plan. Lora Tryon our biologist, Eric Gant and I had provided much of that information at the second Information meetings. I know that many were not listening, because you anti sea cucumber newspaper articles are asking those same questions we answered already.
    Perhaps I can smooth the waters about the numbers of sea cucumbers that were noted in the management plan. Please don’t take these numbers literally they were just best estimates at that time/ Last year…… and now obsolete. Our densities will only be based on the natural ability for the Baynes Sound area to provide natural food. Finally our densities are going to be based on the research we do first before we ever go into any commercial operation. Stop the calculators, stop wasting your time on these numbers, stop calculating the pounds of poop. Our figures will be much lower, but we cannot know that at this time. DFO and Lands will know the numbers after we do the research studies in Baynes Sound………then we will be better able to tell you.
    The mortality rate for spawning and rearing sea cucumbers can be as high as 80-90 % based on information from other countries. We will be lucky if we don’t go bankrupt in this process. No hatchery in BC has ever successfully produced sea cucumbers for use as an aquaculture enterprise. We could be the first. This is totally research and development. There is a huge risk for this type of business. Then we have to deal with the 2 levels of government who are not receptive to this type of development plus the anti- aquacuture comments from some of FOBS……..Why would anyone want to subject themselves to this type of business. Because we believe in aquaculture that is sustainable and not the wild fishery that is not. The Government also believes this, justr ead their mandates for aquaclture. I am hoping that the FOBS can be more open minded and understanding about the process because we are just getting started.
    Dan Bowen

  2. Sue August 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Hey Dan, I have tried to move away from the Sea Cucumber controversy to gain some perspective. However, I have recently starting looking at this venture again and I have to say I am tired of the approach you, Bon and Eric seem to have taken on this matter.

    My viewpoint is I essentially see a blaming behaviour toward anyone that opposes your venture. Not a great business model if you really are looking for buy-in. I wonder why you are all so defensive. I personally have expected a more professional approach that positively engages the community, not one that name calls and points fingers.

    We did have one interesting conversation and I do thank you for that. But really, perhaps you should start thinking people are smarter than you think they are.

    Based on what I have read throughout this ordeal, I do question the behaviours I have witnessed from your group. I wonder if this venture would be able to follow through in the manner promised. Sadly, so far I do not see much humility or even the understanding of humility from your group. I also question how much your group respects the community. Respect is best seen by the way one responds to those that oppose your ideas. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it really has not been that endearing.

    Anyhow, at the end of the day, there is no scientific evidence to support what your group proposes in Baynes Sound.

    Coincidently, today I happened to meet Eric Gant on the river walk while I was cycling home from work and I stopped to talk to him. He seemed very angry and essentially told me I was stupid, seemingly just because I disagree with your plan. (Ironically, he implies in his new video that he is a neighbourly–hmmmm). He started out okay but when I told him I opposed the operation his behaviour changed towards the negative and most certainly was not very neighbourly at all. He seemed very angry in particular about one person and talked and accused this person of causing him to lose money. It made me wonder what his priority really is. It was also interesting in that he seemed to make the assumption I knew who he was talking about, yet he admitted he did not even know who I was. I personally felt his approach and conversation very bullying; not engaging and open at all.

    If I am stupid about this venture, then perhaps you, Bon and Eric should be more introspective and consider your own approach. Do you think you have any responsibility in how effective you have been in educating the public about your controversial venture. It is easy to say people are not listening. However, if you want to truly be effective, I would suggest it might be best to think: ” what can I change to improve communication; how can I get my message across so people understand what we are trying to achieve”. Personally, i do not think It is very effective to try to make people feel stupid and inadequate.

    From my conversation with Eric today I felt he would have me believe my two science degrees have been wasted on me! Fortunately, I don’t believe him, I’m smarter than that!


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