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© 2019 New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

NDP calls for aquaculture legislation that protects the marine environment



For immediate release

September 25, 2019

NDP calls for aquaculture legislation that protects the marine environment in wake of mass salmon die-off


“Our ocean is not a cabbage patch, and dead salmon are not decaying cabbages,” said NDP Fisheries Critic Jim Dinn while responding to comments made by the Fisheries Minister after a massive farmed fish die-off in Fortune Bay.


“Minister Byrne’s suggestion that decaying salmon in sea cages are not unlike decaying cabbages in a field suggests a dismissive attitude towards the mass die-off of farmed salmon at Northern Harvest Sea Farms in Fortune Bay and ignores the seriousness of the event,” said Dinn.


Dinn says the enormity of the die-off, the lack of information surrounding the event, and its potential harm to the environment, commercial fishery, and wild salmon, all clearly demonstrate the need for more stringent regulations with heavy fines and penalties for fish farms that don’t comply.


“Policies and procedures aren’t enough. The NDP Caucus calls upon government to commission a thorough, independent review of finfish aquaculture rules and implement laws and regulations to protect the marine environment.”


Within North America, NL ranks near the bottom in terms of the protections offered to wild Atlantic salmon by its legislation and regulations governing aquaculture.


Dinn says the NL government should strengthen its aquaculture regulations to meet

world-wide best practices that are based in the best available science and adequately address environmental concerns. The regulations should include hefty fines for violations.

“Legislation is the only way to guarantee real accountability,” said Dinn.


“As we move forward with the $250-million, seven million fish Grieg Aquaculture project that the province is putting $30-million into, what protects the environment from a catastrophic die-off?”


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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (office), 693-9172 (cell), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.