Grieg NL salmon aquaculture project’s environmental impact statement criticised by local environmental group

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (NL-CAR) has given “a strong thumbs-down” to its review of the Grieg NL salmon aquaculture project’s environmental impact statement.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (NL-CAR) is asking people throughout the province to further scrutinise the environmental impact of the Placentia Bay aquaculture project.

The full environmental assessment is the first ever for open net-pen salmon aquaculture in Canada. The project includes plans to build and operate a hatchery for Atlantic salmon in Marystown, with sea-based fish farming at multiple sites in Placentia Bay.

“This is the first chance the public has ever had to critically look at one these operations before it goes in our coastal waters and to provide input,” said Leo White, NL-CAR spokesperson. “It’s so important we get answers to the outstanding questions people have about this project.”

The group identified several major issues which include potential sea ice damage, cages that are too close to known salmon river mouths and waste deposits.

The group claim that some of Grieg’s EIS solutions are unfeasible such towing cages out of harms way if this ice occurs. They are also concerned that 17 cages of the 20 cages will be within 20 km of known salmon rivers. Furthermore despite being required to provide information about waste such as fish feces, NL-CAR say that the EIS does not mention of volumes of sewage, or quantities of pesticides and antibiotics near the bay.

Our worst fears about this environmental assessment have come true,” said White, “We knew after Grieg’s public meeting in March, that the company had no intention to do the work that was required of them.”

Last Friday The Atlantic Salmon Federation also said that its review of statement (EIS) had “spawned a lot of concern”.

SalmonBusiness have tried to contact Grieg NL for a comment.