Nova Scotia has granted an option to Cermaq, an Oslo-based subsidiary of Japanese auto-giant Mitsubishi, to explore putting hundreds of open-net pens in waters on our coasts. During the option period, they have undertaken a well-financed public relations campaign to convince Nova Scotians that their proposal will provide jobs and benefit local communities.

Supported by our own Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, they say the negative effects of open-net pens are now totally under control, that Nova Scotia has the regulatory “gold standard”.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. After decades of unfulfilled promises and environmental degradation, you’d think we Nova Scotians would have learned not to accept the sales pitches of open net pen proponents.

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Anchored in our bays and crowded with farmed fish, open-net pens leak diseases, parasites, chemicals, surplus feed, and tons of feces into the surrounding ecosystem where it is spread by currents and tides.  Storms damage the cages scattering broken gear on our shores.

According to Norwegian Pollution Control, one mid-sized fish farm produces as much effluent as a city of 50,000. The industry’s own magazine of record, Aquaculture, puts that number at over 65,000. 

The Dirty Dozen

1. High concentration of feces (Why regulate human waste and not fish waste?)

2. Noise & lights

3. Chemicals and antibiotics

4. Smell

5. Escaped fish affect wild populations

6. Debris from broken nets

7. Huge die-offs and resultant pollution

8. Affect on tourism, recreational boating, and swimming

9. Affect on lobster industry

10. Sea lice

11. Infectious diseases

12. Intrusive industrial presence

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February 5, 2020. The Narwal reports a highly contagious virus has been found in a majority of Clayoquot Sound salmon farms. 

A Norwegian strain of piscine orthoreovirus was identified at 14 out of 15 farms tested, 11 of which are owned by Cermaq, the Mitsubishi subsidiary trying to establish itself here in Nova Scotia. Laboratory testing by the B.C. government showed the underwater effluent was contaminated with the disease found in 80 per cent of farmed Atlantic salmon and linked to a host of fish health problems, including heart and skeletal muscle inflammation and haemorrhages in internal organs.