ASF Supports Coalition for Aquaculture Reform Calling for Full Implementation of Doelle-Lahey Aquaculture Report

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The Doelle-Lahey recommendations are relevant to all jurisdictions with salmon farming operations.

Nova Scotia's Doelle-Lahey Report offers vast improvements in the regulation of open net-pen salmon farming, if the recommendations are fully implemented. Photo Tom Moffatt/Atlantic Salmon Federation

They are keeping the door open for that industry to rise to the new proposed standards, which will require a much higher level of environmental and social performance.

Dozens of community groups and organizations from around the province rallied at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax today to show their support for the recently released final report of the Independent Aquaculture Regulatory Review for Nova Scotia, chaired by Dalhousie Law Professors Meinhard Doelle and Bill Lahey. But, say these groups, their support is conditional on government accepting and implementing the entire package as an integrated whole.

“We do not support open-pen salmon feedlots and continue to believe that it is a fundamentally flawed model” says Wendy Watson Smith from The Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore. “Although we are disappointed that the Doelle-Lahey Report does not specifically call for a phase out of open net pen salmon feedlots, we do recognize that it is a thorough and well done review. The report attempts to balance environmental concerns with the need to have a strong economy and we support its immediate implementation.”

“The Doelle-Lahey report validates the legitimate concerns of affected coastal communities and it confirms the negative environmental impacts of the salmon feedlot industry” says Alex Patterson from St Mary’s Bay Coastal Alliance. “It prescribes sweeping regulatory reforms, greater transparency and a need for a much higher level of performance by industry, such as limiting all sites to staying within oxic levels.”

“We support the implementation of the Doelle-Lahey Report as a comprehensive whole, without cherry-picking or half-measures” says Gloria Gilbert of Coastal Community Advocates. “Nothing less than the “regulatory excellence” prescribed in the Ivany Report on Nova Scotia’s economic future will do this time. It’s government’s opportunity to demonstrate leadership in producing a world class regulatory system. Failure to do so will simply guarantee further conflict and deadlock”.

The Doelle-Lahey report recommends strong measures to ensure protection of wild fish and wild fisheries from the proven negative impacts of open net pen salmon farms as well as a meaningful role for communities in decision making.

“The Doelle-Lahey Report is not a green light to the salmon feedlot industry” says Lewis Hinks for the Atlantic Salmon Federation. “Their report makes it clear that they do not support open-net aquaculture; rather they are keeping the door open for that industry to rise to the new proposed standards, which will require a much higher level of environmental and social performance. If implemented, the report states that no new licenses are to be issued until the new system is in place and that all existing aquaculture operations must meet the new regulatory regime.”

The Nova Scotia Chapter of the Atlantic Coalition for Aquaculture Reform includes wild salmon conservationist groups, commercial fisheries groups, tourism operators, environmental organizations, members of coastal communities and proponents of sustainable aquaculture from across the province.

For further information contact:

Lewis Hinks – Atlantic Salmon Federation
902-275-7494, lhinks AT

Wendy Watson Smith – Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore
902 477 0918, wendy.watsonsmith AT

Alex Patterson – St. Mary's Bay Coastal Alliance
902-245-8353, bpatterson21 AT

Gloria Gilbert – Coastal Community Advocates
902-874-2116, turtlevoiceagain AT

Heather Negus – Nova Scotia Salmon Association
902-240-9183, hnegus.nssa AT

Stewart Lamont – Tangier Lobster Co.
902 772 2130 – stewart AT

Raymond Plourde – Ecology Action Centre
902-478-5400, wilderness AT

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

Holly Johnson, Manager of Public Information: (506)529-1033(o)
(506)469-1033(c), HJohnson(at)asf(dot)ca
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Holly Johnson
Atlantic Salmon Federation
+1 506-529-1033
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