Saturday, 15 November 2014

Key Document: The strictest laws in the world? Not in Canada

NAFTA's Commission On Environmental Cooperation 'Dying A Slow Death': Ex-Director

Previous posts on this blog regarding fish farms saying they operate under the strictest laws in the world can be found in the index to this site and include the posts to Nancy Greene Raine from earlier this year. The point is that Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood, and others, don’t operate under the strictest environmental laws in Scotland, Norway, Chile and Canada and other nations. And, once the claim is made, they lobby behind the scenes for getting rid of the laws, as is happening in Canada.
In Canada, in particular, the laws have been weakened for several years, including the Fisheries Act, the Canada Environmrntal Assessment Act, and now the NAFTA agreement council looking into complaints about the environmental damage of in-ocean fish farms has been neutered in Canada by the federal government.

"This institution [Commission on Environmental Cooperation] doesn't have the tools it needs to do anything effective," said Geoff Garver, who headed the organization's enforcement branch from 2000 to 2007 and served on its public advisory board until recently. "It's dying a slow death."

The complaint against fish farms: "Canada has also been accused of harming wild salmon stocks by allowing viruses from fish farms to spread.

In a letter to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, the Environment Ministry said this about the salmon complaint: "We do not intend to engage in or recognize as valid ... any further consideration of this submission."

Ecojustice has written the commission off, said Koehl. "Given how this has all played out over the last decade, we don't have any confidence in their petition process.””
So, in Canada, in addition to the fisheries and environment laws being substantially weakened with respect to fish farm pollution, diseases, chemicals and other issues, the federal government is bringing in ‘aquaculture activities regulations’ that allow the industry complete control over sewage, environmental damage and other discharges.
And, now, has refused to take action on fish farm sewage and diseases in the NAFTA panel that it set up.
Fish farms, despite claims to the contrary, don’t operate under the strictest environmental laws in Canada, or other countries, where, in particular, environmental damage has been so great in Norway where the companies come from they no longer have new areas to site farms, and in Chile, widely acknowledged to be the dirtiest fish farm country in the world, where, sadly, the pristine Patagonia region is being tapped for more farms. News reports that companies want the new leases because pollution and disease in other areas means they need totally new areas that have never been farmed where they can spread out into.

Fish farms want to be in BC because our coastline is fjords – which don’t flush – just like Norway where it is acknowledged that 7 of 10 lice chemicals no longer work, and the industry puts out more untreated sewage than the entire human population of 8 million people.

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