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Groups fighting open-pen fish farms form alliance

The Healthy Bays Network is pushing for land-based closed-containment farms

Groups around the province have joined forces to form an new alliance against open-net pen fish farms.

They’re called the Healthy Bays Network, and consist of The St. Mary’s Bay Protectors, Protect Liverpool Bay, the Twin Bays Coalition representing Mahone and St. Margaret’s Bays, the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore, with support from the Ecology Action Centre, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the Nova Scotia Salmon Association.

Back on April 9th, salmon farming company Cermaq abandoned their plans to install open-net fish farming pens across Nova Scotia.

But soon after, Cooke Aquaculture announced they would expand their open-net pen fish farms in the province.

While many of the groups saw the Cermaq decision as a victory, the announcement by Cooke Aquaculture made them realize their fight was not over.

That’s according to Geoff Le Boutillier with the Twin Bays Coalition.

He tells The Sheldon MacLeod Show, land-based, closed-containment farms is the ethical way to farm fish.

“We should be putting our money there. We should be focusing on good clean technology. We have an opportunity as we rebuild the economy to do this a lot of different sectors,” says Le Boutillier.

Le Boutillier also says, they thought when Cermaq shut down, that would be the beginning of the end of open-net pen fish farming in Nova Scotia.

He says he’d like to see the province follow the lead of other countries.

“Countries are taking the pens out of the water and putting them on the land, so why is Nova Scotia so retrograde in this? I don’t get it.”