Leading the campaign against the company is the St. Marys River Association, which for decades has been doing restoration work on the river in an attempt to reverse the decline of its salmon population.
Over recent years it’s had considerable success. Without a counting fence on the river it relies largely on volunteers who count sites where female salmon have laid eggs.
“Every year the number has been going up,” said association president Scott Beaver.
“… My question to Atlantic Gold and St. Barbara is we’ve been fighting for a year and a half now, at what point do you admit you do not have a social licence in this community and withdraw like a good corporate citizen?”
For its part, Atlantic Gold responded with the following written statement:
“Atlantic Gold appreciates the efforts of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and its associated partners to build and maintain salmon stocks in Nova Scotia and we share the goal of creating positive conditions for salmon and all aquatic life to thrive. Our company’s top priorities are to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner that mitigates impacts on the surrounding environment. In the weeks ahead, representatives from Atlantic Gold will review the information and concerns presented by the ASF and will continue our constructive dialogue.”