100+ people protest fish farm proposal in Nova Scotia

Yesterday more than 100 people from across the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia gathered to demonstrate their opposition to fish farms. There were two simultaneous demos in Halifax and Liverpool to show that there is no social license for a proposed fish farm in Liverpool Bay, Nova Scotia.

People crowded outside Queens' Mayor David Dagley's office to voice their opposition to the fish farm proposal. More than 100 people in total joined in this rally. Photo credit: Protect Liverpool Bay.

According to CBC,

“The provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has granted Kelly Cove Salmon, which is owned by Cooke, an option to apply for new fish farm sites in the bay just outside Liverpool, N.S. Marine biologist Inka Milewski has studied the effects of fish farming on the South Shore.

The Dalhousie University research associate said Cooke has had problems at its current site in Liverpool Bay, including infectious salmon anemia, high sulphide levels in sediment and "superchill," which is when fish blood freezes due to extreme cold.

"The current site there has got a really questionable record," Milewski said.

Among the crowd in Halifax were people who have successfully fought off fish farms in their communities in the past. Wendy Watson Smith from the Association for the Preservation of the East Shore (APES) told me about how her community stopped three fish farm leases from going ahead – one was dropped by the company, another was stopped by the federal government because it was too close to a salmon-bearing river, and the third is stalled ad infinitum. Learn more about APES and their successes here! Brian Muldoon organized a contingent from Protect Liverpool Bay to travel from the South Shore to come to Halifax, as well.

The Liverpool area of the South Shore has a history of fighting - and winning - against fish farms. The Friends of Port Mouton Bay have been researching, educating the public, and advocating against fish farming for years, and have successfully fought off fish farms before. The Friends are at it again and are intervening in Cooke’s new proposal.

The demo in Liverpool outpaced that in Halifax 10 to 1 – more than 100 people gathered with signs and songs to defend their homes and waters from the havoc that fish farms can wreak on wild fish stocks, beaches, and local quality of life. Watch the 5 piece protest band’s performance here!

Follow Protect Liverpool Bay on Facebook for developments in this story.