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NEWS RELEASE · 14th June 2011
Alex Morton
Cut the Crap Cermaq - Ground-truthing new salmon farm application.

New video footage released today casts serious doubt on claims that a proposed 3,000 tonne salmon farm at Plover Point in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will not harm marine life. Mainstream Canada (owned by Norwegian Government-owned Cermaq) claims “there is limited life on this section of ocean floor” and “the farm is not expected to have an impact” They say the farm will take up1.25 hectares, when the application is actually for 55.69 hectares. In the full application Mainstream reports finding large areas covered in a bacteria called Beggiatoa associated with pollution.

However, video shot over the weekend with an underwater camera reveals a healthy abundance of life including prawns, shrimp, flounders, Dungeness crab, plumose anemone, white sea pens, rockfish, eelpouts, tube dwelling anemones and coral at Plover Point . The yellowish/white mats of Beggiatoa bacteria were only found at an existing Cermaq-operated salmon farm in Bedwell Sound

“The camera never lies,” said Jody Eriksson, who led the surveillance operation. “Cermaq have been caught hook line and stinker. Salmon Are Sacred and the people of BC stand ready to ground-truth every new salmon feedlot application, we have learned not to trust government or the industry.”

“Cermaq’s claim that there is limited life under the proposed location does not hold water,” said Farlyn Campbell who operated the video camera. “The Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a healthy marine ecosystem rich in spot prawns, eel grass, crabs and coral and not the marine desert suggested by the application. How could Cermaq get it so wrong?”

“Cermaq has turned Clayoquot Sound into a crime scene ,” said Anissa Reed of Salmon Are Sacred. “A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is clearly no place to allow one salmon feedlot let alone over twenty.”

The Cermaq application to use Plover Point to dump waste from another salmon feedlot in Clayoquot Sound will be presented at an open house public meeting in Tofino today from 4-8pm, 634 Campbell St. and in Port Alberni, 3555 5th Ave 4-8pm on Thursday (16 June). Although notification is posted on the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands website and public submissions can be made online until 18th June the links to the full 380-page application say “file not found” leaving the public unable read Mainstream’s application. Calls to the Ministry failed to produce the files.

Friends of Clayoquot Sound say the Plover Point area is “rich with marine life,” “frequented by sea lions, porpoises, sea birds, and orcas” with a seal haul-out at Plover Point. Stream assessments found cutthroat trout and salmon nearby. There are also productive clam beds along the shores of the Meares Island Tribal Park, as well as eelgrass and kelp beds and herring spawning areas.
“What gives a Norwegian-owned corporation the right to pollute BC waters and put whole ecosystems at risk?” says Friends of Clayoquot Sound
Salmon Are Sacred would like to know how Mainstream could make the mistake of suggesting Plover Point is a polluted seafloor with “limited life”.

Later this afternoon Salmon Are Sacred will be delivering fish farm manure back to Cermaq in Tofino. In April, Salmon Are Sacred’s ‘Cut the Crap’ campaign first revealed video footage of salmon farm waste smothering the sea floor near Cermaq and Marine Harvest farms in the Broughton Archipelago and returned fish farm manure back to their offices in Campbell River. In May, more fish farm manure was delivered to the BC Parliament in Victoria .

Salmon Are Sacred will be reporting on tonight’s meeting in Tofino and will be posting a video on the battle to protect Plover Point. Watch more videos on this as they come online via: