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Calling all Groups and Supporters: Aquaculture Press Conference and Rally

We need you!

Show your opposition to open net pen salmon aquaculture
Monday, June 4 - 10 am to Noon, Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax

Friends: Please make plans to attend the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform's big Aquaculture press conference & Rally on Monday June 4th, 10am to Noon at the Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax. (Please note the date has changed from May 31 to June 4). The Hotel is located on South Park street near the corner of Spring Garden Road, across from the Public Gardens. The event will be held in the grand ballroom. We will need everyone's attendance and help to fill the room, so spread the word and bring your like minded members and friends.

The purpose of this event is to come together to show our collective opposition to open net-pen salmon feedlots in Nova Scotia's coastal waters and communities and to again call for a moratorium and a redirection of provincial support towards sustainable closed-containment systems. Groups and individuals will be coming from across the province to make a unified show of force. The coalition is growing as are the calls by the public for a moratorium. But the Nova Scotia government is not listening to the legitimate concerns of lobster fishers, salmon and trout anglers, tourism operators and local communities who will be affected most. Meanwhile, the salmon aquaculture industry is making a big push to expand the number of open-net salmon feedlots (so-called "farms") throughout coastal Nova Scotia.

The negative impacts of open net pen salmon aquaculture are well known and well document (a science brief is attached with more info). Wherever this industry has been allowed to set up, big problems have followed. These include major disease and parasite outbreaks, massive amounts of fecal pollution (essentially raw sewage), large numbers of escaped aquaculture fish leading to genetic "swamping" of local wild salmon populations, precipitous declines in wild salmon and sea trout populations in nearby rivers, chemical releases into coastal waters leading to harm to other wild species including lobster, and the list goes on.

Hundreds of letters and e-mails have been sent to the Dexter government pleading with them not to allow the same mistakes to be made in Nova Scotia's coastal waters. But all to no avail. The government is stubbornly brushing off concerns and is welcoming open-net pen salmon feedlots into our waters with open arms. If we hope to stop this environmentally damaging industry we need to stand together and speak up now. We need to show our government, in a tangible way, that Nova Scotians refuse to allow salmon feedlots to shoved down our throats and into our precious bays and harbours against our will.

Please, come join us to stand and be counted on Monday, June 4[sup]th[/sup] at 10 am at the Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax.

A special sneak preview of the upcoming documentary film "Salmon Wars" will also be shown.

For more information contact Ray Plourde - 442-5008, [email protected]
Sign the online petition at: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-open-net-pen-salmonid-aquaculture-in-nova-scotia
 

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I read the list of members of the colitation and it is impressive and i believe hard to ignore. One group not on the list is NSFAH. Is this an oversite or do they not support this effort. I am not a member but would like to know. I see a number of affiates belong but it would be nice to see the parent organization show support to this effort.
 

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Perry,

I contacted the NSFAH when the Coalition was first coming together. I emphasized the importance of this issue.

The response I received indicated that the NSFAH, for some policy reason, does not join these kind of coalitions. (?)

Wish I could find the response e-mail so that I could quote it directly, however the response was that the NSFAH wouldn't be joining the Coalition. Frustrating.

I've had some recent computer issues and am still sorting out what is lost and what may be floating around in the ether-world of my hard-drive. If I find the e-mail I will provide a more concise response.

Terran
 

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Terran
The Federation (NSFAH) has actually put this info regarding this rally out to its members in an email and it is listed on their site. At least they are providing the info, whether they support it or not is a totally other issue.
 

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Many years ago Elizabeth May started her passion for environmental issues with a protest against the spraying of the Highlands for spruce budworms. She approached the NSWF for funding in her fight with the Provincial Government. The funding was granted and the rest is history. The Gov at the time was partically funding the NSWF and in retailation of the granting of funding reduced the funding they gave the NSWF the amount given.
I dont know if this applies to the NSFAH. It could be a matter of "Biteing rthe hand that feeds you" or not but the ASF and NSSA is a member of the colilition as are their affiliates. It would be a move in the right direction for the NSFAH to join and show their support. IMO
 

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Perry I do not believe either the ASF or the NSSA are parts of the NSFAH. I see no indication of it in any data. Regardless they respresent only a fraction of the overall fishing community and only specific fisheries. Maybe they should bite the bullet and join the NSFAH. The Feds are the provincial voice of all. Just saying.
 

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My bad Guest! I worded the post poorly I meant the Colitation formed against the expansion of sea cage aquaculture. On a side note the NSFAH do a good job with hunting as all the game is the responsibliities are Provincial with the only exception being migratory. At a point in time the fish organizations were a member of the NSWF but left over time. The NSFAH have branded themselves a hunting organization, I don't believe by intent. For the general population all the press and info comeing out from NSFAH was coyotes, gun laws, moose etc. and not a peep about issues surrounding angling. It appears that this is where the aquaculture issue falls as well. It's not about hunting so lets not get involved. I suspect this is not the case but it falls under perception vrs reality.
 

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It is not at all the case Perry, they are about eveything outdoors, Hunting, ATV's and Fishing, Trapping and more .
I believe in what the represent, although I have problems with thier leadership. That should never negate however the fishing community banding togther under them.
They have a very strong voice with Government. We could accomplish much of what is discussed here.
 

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I know what you are saying Guest and the potencial is there but there is a mistrust or whatever is the preceived problem with some members of the fishing community. Once they left they seemed to get more done on their own that when they were members of NSFAH or the old NSWF.
Back on topic. If the problem was a bison or elk ranch in CB or Mainland NS that was spreading disease in the moose or deer population leading to extinction of the moose and deer herd the NSFAH would be on this evenings news protesting . Because they are not a member of the anti sea cage expansion group they appear to be a hunting organization and not interested in what happens to wild fish. Thats the perception and not the reality. If they were interested in getting angling assoc. on board they might consider supporting them in this cause.
 

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I hear what you are saying Perry. I never said I agreed with everything they state. I on the other hand do not know enough about these Salmon cages to state one way or the other about them. On one hand i like the idea of farmed Salmon, on the other I have a problem with the spin off effects. I need to know more.

PS You need to convince those in the Fishing community to get back on board with the NSFAH. Maybe, better yet some of the young folks with so much to gain and loose, should jump on board and run with it themselves. Age sometimes is a huge road block when we try to get things done. FYI I am no spring chicken, but my mind is wide open and have no lasting mistrust for anyone. All need to move forward.
 

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Agreed! I too am no spring chicken! lol If the NSFAH wanted to promote a program that would encourage fishing organizations to take advantage of the NSFAH it mightbe a good move to support them now and join the coalition.
I support aquaculture as well as long as it is land based.
 

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No agruement Perry, However someone has to make the first move, who is right, who is wromg, well does that matter?
No matter, we agree to some stuff and some we do not...Respectfullly I might add.
 

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Perry,

Finally, I have found the e-mail response, from the NSFAH, regarding my suggesting that they join the Coalition. This was a private correspondence and in keeping with confidentiality I would rather not divulge the name of the author or quote, too much, directly from the response. I will try to paraphrase in order to convey the response.

Apparently, this was a "hot topic" at their AGM and Board of Directors meeting and they share our concerns.

Not that they didn't support the objectives of the Coalition, but "as a matter of practice" they do not sign letters written by others.

It was also stated that a member of the executive had written the Fisheries Minister conveying the organizations concerns regarding aquaculture and the myriad of effects and dangers it poses.

As an Affiliate of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the NSFAH has written to them seeking their support based on their policy against open pen aquaculture. They understand that this is not only a Nova Scotia issue, but a National issue and that the full weight of the CWF will be of assistance in keeping up pressure on the Government.

This was the basic "gist" of the response. I hope I haven't broken any confidences and that my paraphrasing correctly explained the intent of the writers response.

I did reply to this letter and express that while disappointed, in the NSFAH not joining the Coalition, I was pleased to hear that they also were working (in their own way) to help change this disgusting and damaging industry.

Personally, I feel that the NSFAH would have been better served by joining the Coalition. Simply, the optics alone of such an organization "not" appearing to stand behind other "Angling" interest groups and those groups with interests and concerns in the environment does little to promote the NSFAH.

Despite their actions (behind the scenes) and "best" intentions, this organization could/should have presented itself in solidarity with this cause. Regardless of politics and/or disputes, which I perceive may have played a role. (My opinion only)

This would have not only been viewed in a much better light, but would have helped to promote the NSFAH as a true representative of "all" anglers of our province. Sadly, I believe their omission serves the opposite in this case.

Terran
 

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  • Thank you Terran that expains it well without causeing a problem for the author. I agree with your assessment as well, but nothing seems to impact this Gov. Maybe an election in the future will change their views of rural development. Sadly it may be too late but the NDP will have to wear it!
 

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Perry,

Sad but true.

Add to that the generally short attention span of the average citizen and the perception that you can't make a difference and it is terribly difficult to garner the "forces" neccesary.

That being said, to do nothing (or ignore the problem) will definately guarantee - nothing. No change.

The media is key in this and any fight with government. Make the powers that be look bad enough in the media and watch the spin. How many policies have "shifted" due to negative media coverage?

These orgs. and groups need to develop strong media relations and utilize this medium if change has any chance to occur.

Not only would this be helpful in battles with the government(s), but the general public needs to be informed of the issues that will eventually affect all.

Tight Lines,

Terran
 

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Great thread folks ....interesting to follow......IMO (and I'm not bashing any group) the Federation, if its intent is to be the voice of anglers as well as hunters, needs to step up to the plate and voice thier support and backing publicly.....as stated already the NSFAH or NSWF (same group and same dictator in charge) has never even remotely associated itself with the anglers of native species in this province!! If they want to take the lead on this and shove the NSSA to the back burner then get at it but don't drag your heals!! The Aquaculture fiasco and the delayed opening of the salmon season in NS are just the hot button topics that they should be jumping all over and that would surely put anglers squarely in thier corner!!
 

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Another NSFAH intervention, behind the spotligh. (email I just receivedt) Woody is the Pres OF NSFAH.

Dear Mr. Woods:

Thank you for you letter of March 29, 2012 regarding open pen salmon farming in Nova Scotia.
It is important for my staff and I to hear from Nova Scotians and I do appreciate the efforts you and others have made in protecting and restoring the wild salmon stocks.

Aquaculture, when conducted in an environmentally responsible manner, will not cause significant impact on the environment or wild fish stocks. Properly done, aquaculture can meet the need for sustainably produced seafood while generating positive economic development in coastal communities.
The aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia is highly regulated and must meet strict regulatory standards to operate in this province. I can assure you, that while reviewing proposed aquaculture projects, my staff and I examine all information made available including the proximity of salmon sites to salmon rivers with existing wild stock.

As recently announced, our Government also plans to release an aquaculture strategy in the near future to ensure that this industry continues to develop in a manner that benefits our Province economically while protecting the environment and addressing public concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Original Signed By:

Sterling W.W. Belliveau
Minister
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
 
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