Citizens Demands Answers from Government on Open Pen Fish Farms
Lawyers representing citizen-led groups opposed to the toxic aquaculture practice work with lawyers from EcoJustice to get answers.
January 12, 2021. The Healthy Bays Network, a coalition of citizen organizations dedicated to eliminating open-pen fish farms in Nova Scotia sent a press release announcing that they had partnered with lawyers from EcoJustice and send a letter to the Nova Scotia government demanding that public and environmental needs be put ahead of those of select private interests.
“For too long Kelly Cove Salmon has been allowed to sidestep the law and operate outside its lease boundaries. It’s time for the ministers to start following the province’s laws and ensure Nova Scotia’s communities have a seat at the table before aquaculture lease expansion applications are approved.” - Brian Muldoon, Protect Liverpool Bay
The letter calls for Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Keith Colwell and Minister of Environment Gordon Wilson to reject noncompliant applications for lease expansions and to require public information meetings before submitting more applications.
A History of Secrecy and Non-Compliance
The open pen aquaculture industry has a chequered past in Nova Scotia, being invited into the province by the NDP government a decade ago with tens of millions of taxpayer subsidies. Since then, the Liberal government has expanded and renewed leases for companies despite strong opposition from thousands of coastal residents, environmental groups and even against the recommendations of scientists.
Open pen aquaculture, also known as fish farming, is a practice that has been conclusively shown to cause significant damage to oceans and the traditional fishing industry by polluting waters and killing sea life. Nova Scotia is one of the only places left in North America that still allows the practice.
The Green Party of Nova Scotia is the only political party to demand a provincial ban on open pen aquaculture.