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ASF has made a submission to the NL government, raising its concerns that insufficient information has been provided by the company (MarBase) regarding a new project to raise and deploy lumpfish as cleaners of salmon parasites. There are significant possibilities of negative environmental effects arising from their project.
Overall, growth of the salmon farming industry has occurred over a period of decades with very little formal environmental assessment which has undoubtedly contributed to the growing environmental impacts and eroding public support for the aquaculture industry today.
ASF is concerned that like salmon farming, lumpfish aquaculture will come with a range of potential risks in addition to possible benefits. As such, every reasonable step should be taken to ensure that the environmental impacts are minimized and the expected benefits realized.
Thus in the MarBase project, a thorough environmental assessment is needed.
A thorough environmental assessment will help ensure the lumpfish farming industry develops in an environmentally sound manner that does not repeat the mistakes made in the development of the salmon farming industry.
We need to be as certain as possible that unintended consequences are minimized and mitigated in this Marbase Cleanerfish Hatchery proposal.
The environmental assessment process is integral to supporting economic prosperity and sustainable development. The government needs to do its best to safeguard the future environmental sustainability of its coastal environment, including that of all species involved. Newfoundlanders need to be assured the project has minimal negative consequences.
Below is a pdf of ASF’s full submission.