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Letters to the Editor and Aquaculture survey
Here are a few letters to the editors appearing in this weeks papers. Please take the time to read them and have a look at the survey that the Comox Valley Echo has on their website.
Sustainable or Seastainable?MARCH 5, 2014
How is increasing the number of shellfish aquaculture tenures and experimenting with wild species in Baynes Sound working with Mother Nature? It certainly isn’t addressing the real problem. Industrializing Baynes Sound by increasing aquaculture tenures may in fact feed into the problem, ultimately creating its own demise.
The problem is C02 emissions. As long as we base our economics on fossil fuels and mass production of products to be shipped to far away markets, C02 will rise.
The answer lies in the first of the three “R’s” – REDUCE! This includes how we market. If food is massed produced and shipped abroad, then the positive loop of C02 emissions is reinforced. It is time to change this model if we hope to survive.
Aquaculture can learn from land-based farming. The industrialization of farming has not only increased greenhouse gas emissions but has also resulted in inferior food. People are returning to small local farms for their chickens, eggs and vegetables as the food tastes better and it has higher health benefits. Although we seem to always have a dollar value for marketing our industries, there is no price tag for health.
Let’s fix the real problem and not add more problems into this complex equation. It is time to stop the expansion of aquaculture and avoid risking Baynes Sound with experiments. Why not let the ocean rest from our human egos, we have yet to prove we can perform better than Mother Nature.
Seahorses and mermaidsMARCH 5, 2014
In response to Mr. Penner’s story “Experimental Underwater Farm Planned”:
It is amazing to me that after numerous public meetings, several writing campaigns and a petition signed by more than four hundred area residents expressing their strong opposition to the expansion of aquaculture in Baynes Sound that the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLR) is still considering granting an application for an aquaculture tenure in an area of northern Baynes Sound so enjoyed for its natural beauty and recreation.
This application, (MFLR File: number 1413722) which takes in an area of the Sound between the shoreline of Craigdarroch beach and Sandy Island Marine Park, (Tree Island) has gone through several permutations over the past couple of years. Initially it was for farming geoducks, then it was changed to one for “ranching” sea cucumbers now according to the applicant Mr. Eric Gant, he wants to “experiment” with cockles, scallops, oysters and horse clams, what’s next, seahorses and mermaids?
If the dramatic failure of Island Scallops 2010, 2011 and 2012 crop, where an estimated ten million scallops died, tells us anything it is that we must find out much more about what is going on in our oceans before allowing any more aquaculture in the area. Island Scallops has had to lay off thirty percent of its workforce and now CEO Rob Saunders says he is looking for support from the government. Will this be yet another case where the taxpayer is left to foot the bill?
Our Provincial Government is allowing this to happen. Granting Mr. Gant his tenure gives him the opportunity to try his “experiment”. This is a huge area, 81 hectares of some of the prettiest waters around. Mr. Gant boasts of a venture that could generate millions, yet Island Scallops CEO Rob Saunders says they are not sure they can survive. Who is right?
Experiments are best done in the lab under controlled conditions, not in the waters of our Sound and not if there is a chance the taxpayer will have to pick up the tab when things go wrong.
Comments on the application close on March 15, please take the time to write to the ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resources. Mr. Steve Thomson is the MLA responsible. Let him know your thoughts.