Monday, 12 February 2018

Cooke Farm Comes Apart, Government Covers Up, NS, Updated Feb 13, 2018

Cooke loses another fish farm, this time in NS, CDN. I will give you the several letters that explain the case of how the site is in the way of too much weather, and three farms have been lost.

Here, from Darroll Tingley

Cooke Site 1358 Jordan Bay

Mr. Rankin
Minister of Environment

Chickens are coming home to roost.

Minister of Aquaculture Keith Colwell told the world that with the new aquaculture regulations any and all problems will be handled by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. Those assurances ended today when NS Environment informed myself that any issues with escaped/deceased salmon must be referred to the Minister of Aquaculture for disclosure. In addition the phone number Minister Colwell referred individuals to was wrong. (Incorrect # 1-800-565-2224...correct # 1-877-936-8476)

Also today I was informed that the Cooke Liaison Committee does not exist in Shelburne. Minister Colwell and BS Hancock have referred individuals to contact the committee for questions/resolutions. David Levy, the last holdout of the committee, stated that the phony committee no longer exists. As a Municipality of Shelburne Councillor he will take the environmental destruction to the Municipal Council.

Mr. Rankin please advise Minister Colwell that NS Environment is unable to answer questions on escaped or dead fish. That this is a matter for Fisheries and Aquaculture. Incompetence at this level should be met with fury by the Premier and a firing should be in order.

Mr. Rankin the force of the January 4, 2018 storm at Site 1358 dislodged 3 corner buoys, several cages were under water, 17 out of the 20 bird cages were violently torn off, several cages were split open allowing salmon to escape. The Minister holds on to the false claim that no salmon escaped. Colwell is making  you, the premier and government look stupid. Honesty would help!

In addition, Minister Colwell has stated that very few salmon perished in the historic storm. No one familiar with fin fish aquaculture in coastal waters believe this fable. Local lobster fishers in the area don't believe that any survived based on the severity of the storm. As well, Cooke Aqua has made no attempt to feed any surviving fish. Alive or dead?

Mr. Rankin the whole world is watching this marine disaster. Mr. Cowell is incapable of rational behaviour and the mater should be referred to the cabinet for resolution. The lease for Site 1358 should be terminated and the site cleaned up. Under no circumstances should Cooke or any other company be able to operate an aquaculture site in these coastal waters. Three complete failures in a couple of years is all the evidence the government needs to make this just decision. 

Residents in Jordan Bay/West Green Harbour deserve better from their government. Blindly supporting the company over local interests boggles the mind. Time for corrective action.

I await your reply.

Darrell Tingley
Chester, NS

Now, the letter from the government:

 Mr. Darrell Tingley
Dear Mr. Tingley:
Office of the Minister
PO Box 442, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2P8 •
Our File number:

Thank you for your December 28, 2017 and January 22, 2018 emails concerning Cooke
Aquaculture. We take all reports of non-compliance seriously, and want to ensure we inspect
aquaculture sites to evaluate whether they are following the applicable legislation. 

In response to your concerns at the Cooke Aquaculture sites you identified, NSE Conservation
Enforcement Officers conducted an investigation into the allegations, spoke to Fisheries &
Aquaculture staff, Cooke Aquaculture staff, and conducted on-the-water site inspections.

Based on our investigation, we found no evidence of a contravention of the provincial legislation
regulating aquaculture.
As a result, we concluded our investigation. I would also like to add that
the shoreline cleanup was completed by January 23, 2018. There may be some pieces that were
missed; however, the operator of the aquaculture sites plans to conduct shoreline sweeps in the
future to collect any debris that was missed.

Thank you for your concerns. Please direct further inquiries to Orlando Fraser, Manager,
Conservation Enforcement - Western Region, at (902} 798-7914 or via email at
lain Rankin, MLA
Minister of Environment
c: Orlando Fraser

Finally, the response after the government found 'no evidence of contravention':

Mr. Fraser
Environment NS

It has come to my attention that you have been assigned to future investigations surrounding site 1358 in Jordan Bay. Although Minister Rankin claims in his letter that all cleanup was completed on January 23, 2018 just yesterday, February 9,2018 staff from Environment and DNR were on site in West Green Harbour identifying the location(s) of additional debris. In fact, it is estimated that it will take weeks to clean up the mess around Blue Island.Does this not beg the question as to whether the necessary work has been completed?

In addition to the unfinished cleanup from the January 4, 2018 storm, Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture are attempting to piece together aquaculture site 1358. Mr. Orlando are you in charge of this charade? Is it the company plan to put salmon smolt in the cages once the million or so pounds of dead salmon are removed? To date 30,000 pounds of dead salmon have been removed, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Are you in charge of ensuring the net pens are cleaned out from the salmon that perished in the aftermath of the January 4, 2018 winter hurricane? Or does that belong to Minister Colwell of Fisheries & Aquaculture? Who is responsible for controlling the "death slicks" floating away from the cages? Marine life is under threat and this is not being attended to. What government department is responsible?

Mr Fraser, the winter hurricane of January 4th, 2018 did significant damage to the infrastructure of site 1358. Three corner buoys were moved and the site no longer lies within its lease, 17 of 20 bird nets were ripped off, at least 2 net pens were torn open allowing all salmon in these pens to escape (estimated at a minimum of 20,000 fish). Thousands of feet of feeding tube and bird net supports were removed from the shoreline along with numerous other items too numerous to list. Who, if anyone, has given Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aqua permission to rebuild site 1358? The site is compromised and a rebuild will fail and result in another collapse with the next storm. Mr. Fraser, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Mr. Fraser this is the 3rd successive failure of site 1358. In 2015 all salmon perished from super chill, in 2017 all died from disease and 2018 all perished as a result of winter storms. Who in their right mind would give approval for Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture to murder another 500,000 salmon? What a disgusting industry and what an irresponsible government!

Mr. Fraser the fishers and residents of West Green Harbour/Jordan Bay have seen enough of this sick industry. Do the right thing and revoke the lease of site 1358. If Minister Colwell is responsible will you recommend to him to pull the plug? Are you up to the task?

Darrell Tingley
Chester, NS

This is how government acts against the interests and wishes of its own citizens that want fish farms on land. The tipping point on this issue took place four years ago with Norway refusing to auction anymore in-ocean licences, while granting on-land ones for free. Now WA has legislated them out of the water, making BC the only jurisdiction allowing fish farms on the Pacific ocean of North America.

And in Washington, Cooke says the government lacks the skills for a scientific explanation, missing the boat completely, because fish farms always argue for more science, and then, when it is in, say it doesn't say we are to blame... we need more science. And so on. Too bad for Cooke:

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