THE SALMONID COUNCIL OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
At recent consultation meetings in Grand Falls-Windsor the Provincial Government presented their Vision 2018 for Aquaculture. Their plan is to double salmonid caged fin fish aquaculture production in the next five years, and to expand east and west of Bay d’ Espoir; from Placentia Bay to Burgeo. We all know that the salmon stocks of the Conne River have been decimated. Now, their plan is to place fin fish cages in the mouths of eighteen more scheduled salmon rivers which will ultimately destroy them. Such rivers as: Cape Rodger, Bay de l’Eau, Long Harbour, Bay du Nord, Grey and White Bear will be destroyed. Everywhere in the world where salmon farms were placed in the mouths of wild salmon rivers the wild salmon stocks were destroyed.
In 2012 almost 6000 rod days were spent angling for wild Atlantic salmon on these south coast rivers, yielding a catch of 2500 fish. Now the hundreds and hundreds of salmon anglers who presently fish these rivers will be deprived their sport or they will have to pick up their own rock to fish the Exploits or Humber Rivers. Can you imagine the line-ups at Bishop Falls? Fifteen deep will be a joke.
Why is the provincial fishery minister pushing so hard to expand, when the current operations are in trouble? One of three operators has filed for bankruptcy protection. We have had six major outbreaks of ISA on the south coast in the past 17 months, resulting in over two million fish having been destroyed and having tax payers compensating private industry over $30 million dollars.
Nova Scotia has placed an eighteen month moratorium on any expansion while an independent commission studies the issue. British Columbia just completed a three year, $18,000,000 commission study by Judge Cohen, who concluded that fin fish aquaculture farms should not be place near wild salmon rivers because if they are place there the wild salmon stocks will be destroyed.
If you want to stop the destruction of salmon rivers on the Newfoundland’s South coast, contact your MHA now.
Don Hutchens Pres. SCNL 709-753-4968