No matter. Mr. Hawthorn’s letter was an invitation to an open house his company was holding to promote two new salmon farm applications in Clio Channel in the Broughton Archipelago. The Discovery Islands are immediately south of the Broughton; the same fish pass through both areas. The letter invited readers “to come and meet our staff, ask questions and provide comments.”
|Proposed site of new Grieg Seafood salmon farms.|
|The Grieg Seafood open house in Port McNeill was well attended by coastal residents opposed to more open net-cage salmon farms.|
One fishermen at the meeting asked why Grieg was allowed to kill off the wild salmon for free. Another pointed out that the existing farms are essentially unregulated by DFO. Someone else pointed out that the drugs Grieg uses to kill sea lice in the farms also kill prawns and shrimp. A nearby lodge owner said that the farms are turning the area into an industrial zone. You get the idea. One woman summed the mood up nicely: “Put your damned farms on land or go back to Norway!”
Now you can weigh in too. Here’s the situation in a nutshell. Grieg Seafood want to convert two shellfish aquaculture tenures to salmon farms. No environmental impact assessment of the two new farms has been done, even though finfish farms have very different impacts from shellfish farms. This is the first time that the salmon farming industry has asked to transfer tenures from shellfish to finfish. If they are granted approval it could open the floodgates to other shellfish tenures being converted to salmon farms—and there are a lot of unused shellfish tenures on the B.C. coast right now.
|The proposed salmon farms are close to intertidal shellfish beds that are exposed to water flows from the farms. These clam beds are important to First Nations and others in the area.|
- The farms would be too close to salmon bearing streams, vital herring spawning areas, and shellfish beds.
- They are also in close proximity to not only one another but also an already established salmon farm at Bennett Point, which could create navigational issues in Clio Channel.