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Rival Aquaculture Events in HRM: Citizens rally to end net-pen farming while Gov't promotes it

Last week on October 12th and 13th the HRM saw two competing aquaculture events running head to head. The 24th annual N.S. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister's Conference & joint Seafarmer's Conference. The conference took place the same week as two community Salmon Wars book launch events rallying for the government to put an end to industrial open net-pen fish farming in our bays.

"On the one hand, up at the Convention Centre, a blue ribbon event, the Annual Minister’s Conference, paid for by the aquaculture industry and your taxpayers dollars. The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, himself, the Hon. Steve Craig, will host. He will celebrate all things aquaculture including the scourge of Nova Scotia’s coasts, open-net pens. Millions of fish in a loose mesh their poop drifting in and out with the tide.

On the other hand of the rival events, part of an ongoing series of Coastal Community Rallies currently rolling out across the province were two grassroots citizen meetings, one in Tantallon and the other at the Old Keith’s Brewery. These citizens’ events were paid for not by industry and government but rather by nickels and dimes from outraged citizens.

"Contrary to the Minister, the citizens are sick and tired of net pen generators and pumps running 24/7 in their bays and harbours. They are fed up with the chemicals and anti-biotics. Enough with the stink on their beaches. Enough with the busted gear. Enough lack of transparency preventing Nova Scotians from finding out if the operators are in fact living up to the terms of the licenses they have been granted in our name by our government to farm fish in public waters."

The citizens’ Rallies are celebrating what should be a real game changer in the ongoing open-net pen debate - the publication of a blockbuster exposé of the open-net industry, Salmon Wars, The Dark Underbelly of Our Favorite Fish. Written by Pulitzer winning Lunenburger Doug Frantz and his co-writer, noted investigative journalist Catherine Collins, the people of Nova Scotia’s coastal communities are standing up as one to say “No! No more open-net pens in Nova Scotian waters!”

From: Geoff LeBoutilier of Healthy Bays Network

The publication of this book has come at a critical and pivotal time for coastal communities of Nova Scotia and all who love its coasts as our provincial government is gearing up for a four-fold expansion of the net-pen industry in NS's shallow bays. We are encouraged to see coverage of this book giving much needed public exposure to the harmful impacts of the net-pen industry - an industry that is used to controlling the conversation and media messaging on this topic.

All of us at PLB are ramping up once again for our event in Liverpool at the Astor Theatre on October 23rd, where will be presenting a panel of distinguished guest speakers discussing alternative, more sustainable and regenerative aquaculture solutions. Please join us in calling on our leaders to transition from net-pens as is being done on Canada's West Coast and countries around the world who have already suffered the devastating impacts of net-pen fish farms.


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