What part of no don’t they un­der­stand?

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

I keep com­ing back to the ba­sic ques­tion: why on Earth would we sup­port and sub­si­dize open-net pen fish­ing farm­ing in At­lantic Canada?

It’s an in­cred­i­bly sim­ple ques­tion with an in­cred­i­bly short an­swer: we should have noth­ing to do with feed­lot aqua­cul­ture if we know what is good for us and our pris­tine coastal waters.

So I ask the se­cond, re­lated ques­tion: if we are sup­port­ing and sub­si­diz­ing feed­lot aqua­cul­ture, why is this so, more pre­cisely? In this in­stance, I have two pos­si­ble an­swers: ei­ther our de­ci­sion-mak­ers are in­cred­i­bly stupid, or they have some other mo­ti­va­tion.

I don’t con­sider them in­cred­i­bly stupid - more likely mis­guided; and I am con­fi­dent they aren’t favour­ing these des­per­ate fish farm en­deav- ours for some per­sonal gain. So I am left ut­terly with­out ex­pla­na­tion to ex­plain our gov­ern­men­tal in­cli­na­tion and wretched be­hav­iour. I have been at a loss on this file for five years or more, come to think of it.

What I do know is this: feed­lot aqua­cul­ture can­not be jus­ti­fied by any­body un­der any cir­cum­stances. It does not pro­duce the jobs that the pro­po­nents claim. It does not pro­duce the rev­enue for the prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia. It places in jeop­ardy our in­creas­ingly boun­ti­ful wild fish­eries. It tells an in­ter­na­tional story of the end of pris­tine. It is one god­for­saken YouTube video away from dis­as­ter for our seafood sec­tor. On top of all this, it is not a healthy or an au­then­tic pro­tein. It is mis­rep­re­sented at the su­per­mar­ket seafood coun­ters with shock­ing aban­don. And it cre­ates a waste from the net pens that is be­yond all imag­in­able be­lief over a 16month pro­duc­tion cy­cle. It’s bad. It’s ac­tu­ally very bad. And we should know bet­ter in this coastal dom­i­nant re­gion.

Can you do some sort of an in­ter­ven­tion with the de­ci­sion-mak­ers in gov­ern­ment? Can we tell them this hurts con­sumers, tax­pay­ers, fish­ers and coastal res­i­dents? Can we tell them we are play­ing with fire in a hot-wired in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­place? Can we ask them re­spect­fully but re­peat­edly that ques­tion from coun­try singer Lor­rie Mor­gan: what part of “no” don’t you un­der­stand ex­actly?

Ste­wart Lamont, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tang­ier Lob­ster Com­pany Tang­ier, N.S.

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