For Immediate release: PLB issues press release calling on Liberal Party to commit to ending open net-pen salmon farms in all Canadian waters, not just in British Columbia
Protect Liverpool Bay Association (PLBA)
Brian Muldoon - 902-350-2215
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
LIBERALS WILLING TO SACRIFICE EAST COAST LOBSTER INDUSTRY FOR OPEN NET-PEN SALMON FARMS
Liberal Party Should Commit to End Open Net-Pen
Salmon Farming on the East Coast
LIVERPOOL, N.S. – Oct.1, 2019 — This week, Justin Trudeau announced that, should the Liberal party be re-elected, they would “work with the province (of British Columbia) to develop a responsible plan to transition from open net pen salmon farming in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025”.
While PLBA applauds the Liberal Party’s promise denouncing open net-pen fish farming, it fails to address the same concerns and environmental risks this industry poses in all Canadian waters, including Eastern Canada. Where BC has wild pacific Salmon to be concerned with, the East Coast has a lucrative $1.5-billion lobster industry to protect. Local studies have demonstrated concerns that lobster catches and eelgrass beds are negatively impacted in the vicinity of open net-pen fish farms. Eelgrass is the foundation of the marine food chain, providing habitat for lobster and other fish spawn to mature. The long-term implications of this industry, adding additional stress to marine ecosystems in a climate crisis is just too much; even 2025 is far to long to wait for this change.
Additionally, the Atlantic Salmon Federation has strongly protested the unfairness of the Liberal focus on the West Coast, raising the issues of salmon escapes and interbreeding with wild salmon as dangerous consequences of industrial aquaculture in Eastern waters.
Ecojustice Lawyer Sarah McDonald, who will represent PLBA at an upcoming Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board hearing for the proposed expansion of fish farming in Liverpool Bay by multi-national Cooke Aquaculture says, “the Liberals’ announcement shows that the Party acknowledges the industry’s devastating environmental impacts and those impacts are the same on both the East and West Coasts. The Liberals must take the obvious next step and extend their commitment to Atlantic Canada.” Banning this industry only in West Coast waters will simply result in these giant, multi-national feedlot profiteers relocating to the East Coast - faster and larger than they already are.
The Liberal plan largely echoes one released by the Green Party of Canada, which also states a goal to move all open net-pen farming to land based, closed containment by 2025. PLBA is calling on local Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan to explain how her party can continue to put East Coast communities in harms way while finally acknowledging the environmental degradation that has been the result of the industry on Canada’s West Coast.
"When the Liberal Party proposes legislation or regulation designed to protect West Coast communities while leaving us on the the East Coast vulnerable," says PLBA co-founder Brian Muldoon, "we lose trust that the government has our best interests in mind."
The Protect Liverpool Bay Association represents over 300 residents & local business owners concerned about the economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental sustainability of our coastal resources. We demand a permanent moratorium against open net-pen aquaculture and insist that all future finfish sites be closed containment, land-based facilities.