This notice was released in the Comox Valley Echo.
Please take the time to watch this video:
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[Possible Reasons to be filled in on Form]
There is no mention of sea cucumbers in the ad in the paper. However, there are clearly bags of oyster shells for sea cuke nurseries in each of the six Applications. One wonders if the identification of the species as “sea cucumbers” intentionally left off as the species in the ad which appeared in our local papers? We believe the consultation process is flawed if people are not aware that sea cucumbers are part of the application.
There is no DFO policy for sea cucumbers aquaculture yet and that sea cucumber ranching will not be allowed. The Province has clearly stated there is a harmonization process in place, whereby DFO and the Province will proceed together in the approval process. Given that DFO is not approving sea cucumber applications, why is the Province considering this application?
The size of the tenures are huge compared to the average tenure size. The six Applications total 516.44 hectares! (1414123 is 55.75 ha; #1414124 is 7.29 ha; #1414125 is 118.7 ha; #1414126 is 135.7 ha; #1414127 is 105.3.7 ha; and #1414128 is 93.7 ha.)
Why is this much public land being given over to one company? According to Centre for Shellfish Research/Vancouver Island University, the average tenure size throughout BC is 4.39 hectares. Approximately 35% of all tenures are less than 2 hectares in size, while less than 10% of the tenures are more than 10 hectares; only 5 are greater than 30 hectares. See – http://www.viu.ca/csr/industry/industrybackground.asp
Because these six Applications are so immense and so much larger than the usual tenure, it seems more like a “land grab” to many in the community.
The six new Applications are in W1 Conservation Waters and therefore are currently under conservation zoning. Denman Island is already totally overwhelmed with industry and the current zoning has been put into place for a reason!
Tenure Application #1411213, a previously approved one in Henry Bay by MFLNRO and DFO in 2012, is operating without rezoning and is non-complying because this area is in the Denman Island Trust zoning jurisdiction and is zoned W1 Conservation Waters which don’t allow aquaculture activities. The Applicant for #1411213 is also the same Applicant as the six new Applications but is under a new company name. The new Applications are also in W1 Conservation zoned areas and require rezoning. This rezoning should be applied for to the Denman Island Local Trust Committee and received before a tenure and licence are issued.
The Tenure Area is the most important herring spawn area in BC. Has the impact on herring spawning behaviour been assessed? We believe that if these Applications are approved, it will create conflict issues with the commercial herring fishery such as entanglement of gear and nets used for subtidal or deep water geoduck enhancement will interfere with the herring spawning.
61% of the critical bird habitat is under predator netting on the west side of Denman island and the east side of Vancouver Island according to the GIS mapping as presented in “Application of aerial photography in combination with GIS for coastal management at small spatial scales: a case study of shellfish aquaculture” by Leah I Bendell and Peter C.Y. Wan (Springer Science and Business Media, BV, 2010).
Exclusion predator netting over the clams trap will kill herring and other marine animals, and create entanglement hazards for all other commercial users i.e. herring fleet, prawn fleet, fishing fleet, crab fleet, recreation fishers, prawners, crabbers, etc.
There are other harmful practices in the aquaculture industry such as driving on the beach, beach modification, and killing of ‘predators’ (starfish, moonsnails and crabs).
There will be an increase in plastic debris leeching into the marine environment as well as increased garbage debris in Baynes Sound.
The six Applications are not appropriate since they are adjacent to treasured local parks, recreational areas, anchorage areas and residential homes.
There would be a dramatic drop in real estate values along these tenures since these areas would become a commercial aquaculture zones.
90% of the coastline of Baynes Sound is under shellfish tenure. See Attachment labeled Figure 14 which was obtained from scientist Dr. L I Bendell from SFU. The key of the diagram is as follows: estuarine habitat: blue; oyster grow-out: red; and anti-predator netting: yellow.
How much is too much? There should be a moratorium on further expansion.
If you would like to see each application file, please see original post below: