Environmentalists decry aquaculture expansion in Nova Scotia’s Port Mouton Bay

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Media release from Ecology Action Centre:
February 25, 2009 – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Nova Scotia Chapter and the Ecology Action Centre wonder why the NS provincial government is considering allowing another finfish aquaculture site in Port Mouton Bay.
“New aquaculture sites need to be considered in the light of other potential uses for the coast”, says Ashley Sprague, Marine Coordinator at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, “Some places like Port Mouton Bay are better suited for traditional fisheries, tourism, and recreation. We need a provincial coastal management policy to guide development decisions along the coast, not piecemeal project approvals”.
“Did the province of Nova Scotia learn nothing from the recommendations of the Joint Panel Review for the White Point Quarry?” asks Jennifer Graham, Coastal Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, “The values of the community should be paramount when proposed projects affect their livelihoods and way of life.”
She adds that a provincial coastal policy would provide a framework to guide decision making and reduce lengthy, exhausting and dispiriting conflicts between communities and project proponents.
Both Sprague and Graham believe that the proposed site is not suitable to salmon aquaculture because of the low flushing rate in Port Mouton Bay. This had led to a layer of sludge build up on the bottom of the Bay due to excrement and other waste from the existing aquaculture site. They are concerned that the interactions between the existing and proposed new site will have negative impacts on the health of Port Mouton Bay.
On Wednesday, the Friends of Port Mouton Bay held a press conference in Halifax to warn that a proposed new aquaculture site in Port Mouton Bay will jeopardize the existing fisheries, tourism operations, and navigation in the Bay.

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