MEDIA RELEASE


Halifax, NS — Business leaders, commercial and recreational fishing associations, scientists, lawyers and environmentalists are calling on Prime Minister Harper to halt the implementation of the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations. The changes will exempt the aquaculture industry from the Fisheries Act provisions that “prohibit the release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.” Despite broad-based opposition since the beginning of the regulatory change process, which started in 2011, the government of Canada has moved ahead in implementing these changes.

“These regulations will set back Canadian aquatic environmental protection measures several decades,” states Bill Ernst, a retired Environment Canada toxicologist. “They will eliminate Environment Canada’s role in enforcing the law with respect to aquaculture and hand responsibility over to Health Canada who do not have an undivided environmental protection mandate.”

The 120 signatories of an open letter sent today, including the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, contend that the proposed changes will lead to increased environmental risk through the discharge of increasingly powerful pesticides, and other potentially damaging substances into the aquatic ecosystem, significantly reduce government regulatory oversight, and damage Canada’s commercial interests as a provider of untainted seafood.

“We have been fishing alongside the aquaculture industry for decades and we know the impacts open-pen salmon farms can have on the traditional fishery. When the salmon aquaculture industry is poorly regulated it places our industry and livelihoods in jeopardy.  We have grave concerns about the contents of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations, particularly the emphasis on aquaculture industry self-monitoring and regulation, and the capacity of DFO to enforce the proposed regulations,” says Maria Recchia, Executive Director of Fundy North Fisherman’s Association based in Southwestern New Brunswick.

 “The value of our industry is based on a pristine, non-polluted marine environment,” says Stewart Lamont, owner of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia. “We have already dealt with the impacts of pesticides, and see federal fines levied on something that would now become legal. To have DFO authorize pollution from a coastal industry is simply baffling.”

A newly-released scientific study by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the impacts of two pesticides used to treat sea lice, Salmonsan and Alphamax, shows that there are lethal effects on lobster and the risk from one of those, Alphamax, exists up to ten kilometres from sites of use and concludes that there is a general lack of data on pesticide impacts on a wide variety of other marine species.

“We already know that our oceans and coastal ecosystems are suffering from far too much pollution. With these proposed regulatory changes, we are actively allowing further pollution of our coastal waters.  Our coastal industries, particularly those that rely on a healthy marine environment will be put at risk,” says Dr. Susanna Fuller, Marine Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.” In addition, our international reputation on environmental protection will be impacted – something we can’t afford, particularly given the importance of the export markets to our fisheries.”

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For More Information:

Matt Abbott, Fundy Baykeeper, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, matt.abbott@conservationcouncil.ca c: 506-321-0429 w: 506-529-8838 twitter @MattAbbot @FundyBaykeeper

Maria Recchia, Executive Director, Fundy North Fishermen’s Association e: mariarecchia@nb.aibn.com c:506-469-4191

Stewart Lamont, Managing Director, Tangier Lobster e: stewart@tangierlobster.com 902.456.0712

Bill Ernst, retired toxicologist, Environment Canada e: wrernst1@gmail.com cell 902-999-5771, home 902 865 5771

Susanna Fuller, PhD. Marine Conservation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre e: marine@ecologyaction.ca c: 902-483-5033 twitter @sdfuller @EAC_Seamouse

Background Information:

Click here for the open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

Consultations were held starting in 2011 on proposed changes to the Fisheries Act regarding treatment of sealice in the open net pen finfish farming industry. Proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette on August 23rd, 2014. http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2014/2014-08-23/html/reg1-eng.php

Conservation Council of New Brunswick
180 St. John Street, Fredericton NB E3B 4A9
506.458.8747 ::  www.conservationcouncil.ca

News from Groups Archives

Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.