Your input on new aquaculture regulations?

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Sangstercraft, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Sangstercraft

    Sangstercraft Well-Known Member

  2. Sangstercraft

    Sangstercraft Well-Known Member

    Sent the letter.
  3. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    Done and thanks for posting this.
  4. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    sent here too.
  5. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Diluting Fisheries Act to Further Fish Farming
    OpinionDiluting Fisheries Act to further fish farming
    Published October 15, 2014

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proposing regulations that would substantially alter the way the Canada Fisheries Act is applied to aquaculture activities.The proposed regulations functionally exempt aquaculture operations from the general provisions (Section 36) of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish. They will allow the deposit of pesticides and drugs into the aquatic environment as long as they are authorized for use under the Pest Control Products Act or the Food and Drugs Act.

    The rationale put forward to justify these regulations is that there is currently overlap of regulatory requirements both federally and provincially and among various federal departments, which is “cumbersome” for the aquaculture industry, and creates economic disincentives that are barriers to the sustainable management of aquaculture.

    Not many would argue against regulatory streamlining where there is no real purpose served by overlapping legislation, especially if it is an unreasonable economic burden or it unduly stifles business initiatives.

    In my opinion, however, that is not the case in this situation and the proposed regulations can only further reduce environmental protection from aquaculture activities.

    The issue of regulatory uncertainty placing an unreasonable burden on the aquaculture industry and acting as an investment disincentive is the same issue that all other industries in this country deal with. Navigating regulatory requirements is a cost of doing business and all durable industries have managed to do it, while affording the environmental protection provided by the current Fisheries Act, which has been in force for over 100 years.The basic premise of the proposed changes to the Fisheries Act is that registration under legislation managed by Health Canada is adequate to ensure aquatic environmental protection.

    This premise is not supportable for a number of reasons. Although registration under the Pest Control Products Act involves an aquatic risk determination, that risk assessment is done by an agency that does not have a singular environmental protection mandate.

    It is also done in a less than totally transparent manner based on a pre-use data set provided largely by the chemical manufacturer. In addition, there is negligible environmental assessment conducted under the Food and Drugs Act and the environmental effects of drugs on the aquatic environment are therefore largely unknown prior to use.

    There are no subsequent environmental effects monitoring activities undertaken by Health Canada after pesticides or drugs are put into operational use, as has historically been done by Environment Canada, the agency responsible for Section 36 of the Fisheries Act.

    Conveniently, such programs have recently been eliminated in Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The proposed regulations also make no provision for collection of environmental impact data for pesticides or drugs in the aquatic environment.

    Section 36 of the Fisheries Act has always served as a “backstop” against the use of high-risk chemicals in the aquatic environment. It has never been used in a reckless or frivolous manner, and I would challenge the aquaculture industry as well as the authors of this legislation to show where that has been the case.

    This section has, however, been recently used against Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. in New Brunswick, which deliberately used a prohibited pesticide, known to have a very high environmental risk, even after warnings to cease.

    In my opinion, the real reason for these regulations is to allow this industry access to a wider array of more powerful pesticides and drugs, which would be challenged by the current Fisheries Act provisions based on an understanding of their high environmental risk.

    The industry in particular wants access to a class of pesticides known as pyrethroids, which have been proposed for registration for use against sea lice under the Pest Control Products Act.Recent research by Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has demonstrated lethal effects of pyrethroids to marine organisms hundreds of metres from the sea cages in which they are used and subsequently released to the environment. They have also been shown to cause lobster mortality near salmon net pens.

    While these chemicals are also used in agriculture, their aquatic toxicity has been judged to be so severe as to require users to protect aquatic ecosystems by buffer zones of up to 100 metres. How will those users feel about being held to comply with such restrictions in the future if the aquaculture industry is allowed to deposit those same pesticides directly into the marine environment?

    It would seem at this point that the aquaculture industry has convinced the federal government that they require special treatment under the Fisheries Act. This might be due to the perception that this industry provides a viable alternative to failing wild fisheries and therefore any obstacles to expansion, including major environmental protection legislation, should be removed.

    Paradoxically, it seems that removing that legislative obstacle will increase the stress placed on the few wild fisheries that are still productive. If passed, this regulation regresses and confounds application of the most important aquatic protection legislation in this country; another step this country has taken in reducing environmental security in favour of economic advancement.

    Bill Ernst is a recently retired biologist from Environment Canada who has conducted research on the environmental effects of aquaculture chemicals. He lives in Middle Sackville. - See more at:
  6. Englishman

    Englishman Well-Known Member

    I replied using the link posted here as well, but I also sent my own letter 10 days ago. Here is the text if anyone is interested......

    PART 1******************************************************************************************************

    Dear Mr. Porter,
    I am writing to express my deep concerns about, and opposition to, the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, Vol. 148, No. 34 (the Regulations).

    1. DFO role
    I want to begin by quoting two recommendations from the Cohen Commission inquiry on the status of Fraser river sockeye salmon.
    “In relation to wild fisheries, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should act in accordance with its paramount regulatory objective to conserve wild fish”. (Volume 3, Page 11)
    “The Government of Canada should remove from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ mandate the promotion of salmon farming as an industry and farmed salmon as a product”. (Volume 3, page 12).
    It is extremely shocking that the government should continue to ignore these recommendations and that moreover, the DFO should continue to produce proposals such as these which are clearly designed to preserve, promote and protect the fin fish open net pen based feed lot industry. This lack of action and these latest shameful proposed regulations fly in the face of Judge Cohen and completely ignores and marginalises DFO’s own Wild Salmon Policy.
    2.Stakeholder inclusiveness

    It is clear that the proposed regulations also dismisses and marginalise other important stakeholders not even mentioned in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) in the Gazette. These stakeholders include First Nations, commercial fisherman (especially crab and shellfish harvesters), recreational fishermen, and the general public users of the waters and inlets occupied by net pens. There is not even a qualitative, let alone a quantitative assessment of the impact on those stakeholder groups. This huge omission is very clearly described in the letter to you from West Coast Environmental Law, dated September 2[SUP]nd[/SUP], 2014. I quote from section 7. Cost to Canadians. of that letter:-

    The RIAS states that the proposed Regulations would not impose any incremental costs to Canadians. With respect, West Coast submits that this conclusion ignores the potential significant risks and costs of aquaculture on wild fish populations and their habitat, especially as a result of the poorly understood and under-monitored deposit of the prescribed substances into fish-bearing waters. Removing DFO and Environment Canada’s oversight over facilities’ depositing of aquatic drugs, pesticides and waste into marine environments as these Regulations propose to do enhances the risks of harm by such deposits. Fishing makes significant a contribution to local, regional and national economies. In 2010,recreational fishing contributed $8.3 billion to local economies. Commercial fisheries were valued at over $11 billion and generated 82,646 jobs.15 Fish also play central economic, cultural, spiritual and recreational roles across the country. From sockeye salmon, cultural cornerstone of British Columbia, to the iconic steelhead, fish are woven into the culture and wellbeing of many Canadians. In 2010, almost 3.3 million adult anglers fished recreationally in Canada, the majority of whom were Canadian residents fishing in their home province or territory. Over400,000 British Columbians sport fished in their home province.16 Fish are important sources of food, a staple part of many Canadians’ diet, and many species have cultural and spiritual significance for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. The removal of DFO and Environment Canada oversight of deposits of prescribed classes of substances poses a serious risk to these values, and the cost-benefit analysis should reflect those potential costs.”
    It is extraordinarily apparent that DFO, in preparing the RIAS and proposed regulations care nothing for these stakeholders. It is therefore not surprising that the proposed regulations are so careless and contemptuous of their livelihoods, interests concerns and culture.
    3. Ecosystem and environmental factors

    The RIAS and the accompanying proposed regulations are clearly written by an accountant or legislator. It is very apparent the authors have no biological or environmental background whatsoever. How else to explain the complete omission of any reference to local conditions and ecosystem parameters? Pouring “deleterious” substances” into BC ocean waters will clearly have a far more devastating effect in some of the narrow channel net pen sites on fish migration routes short-sightedly approved by your organisation, than it may in other areas. In addition, the season of “deleterious substance” application will determine which wild species are affected and which parts of the ecosystem are potentially damaged by these reckless actions. Perhaps that is DFO’s intent? I.e. to kill off “nuisance” species, be they wild salmon or any other fish species, that might be deemed by corporate interests as a “threat” to their net pen stocks, since the proposed regulations specifically allow for “the killing of fish for the purposes of fish pathogen, pest and biofouling control”.
    This issue of local factors is explained in great detail in section 1. Consideration of site-, species- and system-specific factors, in the West Coast Environmental Law letter of Sept 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] noted above. What is extremely troubling is that these facts have to be explained to DFO by third parties, when DFO is an organisation supposedly charged with protecting and conserving wild fish and marine habitats!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
  7. Englishman

    Englishman Well-Known Member

    PART 2 *************************************************************************************************************
    4. Cumulative effects and monitoring

    No doubt for the same reasons apparent from the previous legislative gaps noted above, the proposed regulations completely fail to take into account potential cumulative effects from prolonged use of a single “deleterious substance” or a noxious combination of several of them. The on-going monitoring and assessment provisions are extremely weak and exhibit zero concern for bio-accumulation or any other longer term effect. Monitoring and reporting is up to the salmon feed to owners which, given that a corporate responsibility is ONLY to it’s shareholders’ profits and returns, is simply not going to happen.
    Some of the DFO’s misplaced and ill-considered attempts at promoting this dreadful set of regulations may be in response to the fact sea lice are now becoming resistant to SLICE, which has been the bio-agent of choice for control of sea lice infestations of fish feed lot stocks up till now (and which itself is toxic to lobsters and crabs). No doubt fish feed lot owners are pushing for newer and more dangerous compounds to be used immediately. This “arms race” against biology is utterly insane. Have we learned nothing from mankind’s war on insect pests? Despite millions of tons of all manner of toxic pesticides sprayed and poured over the lands of the world over the past 60 years, not one single insect pest has ever gone extinct. Instead all we have are new mutated strains of pesticide resistant “super” bugs leading to accelerated application of new toxins. Evolutionary biology 101 facts and constraints seem unknown to DFO. Instead you are now proposing bringing the same failed chemical toxin arms race model to the sea. I am appalled.
    5. Precautionary Principle

    Finally the proposed regulation completely abrogates and undermines The Precautionary Principle.
    This principle states that states that “if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action”.
    In complete contrast, the RIAS takes the position that the deposit of “deleterious substances” is already well managed, for example through the Pest Control Products Act and the Food and Drugs Act. Indeed part of the rationale for the proposed regulations is alleged regulatory overlap. This is complete nonsense.

    An earlier letter to you from West Coast Environmental Law dated March 14,2014, states very strongly:-

    With respect, this rationale is misleading and inappropriate. The Fisheries Act regulates Canadian fish, fish habitat and fisheries. Other agencies and provincial governments with regulatory oversight of a substance, its deposit or the activity that results in the deposit will not have the same mandate, motives, interest or expertise in fish and fish habitat as the Minister does under the Fisheries Act, and their regulatory regimes cannot be presumed to be adequate to protect fish and fish habitat.(Emphasis mine).

    So, having attempted to abrogate and shirk DFO responsibilities and place them on other jurisdictions, the latest regulatory proposal outlines the conduct of a grand , incredibly risky experiment on BC coastal ecosystems. These large complex ecosystems, which encompass hundreds of thousands of interactions at the physical, chemical and biological level, are now going to become a giant laboratory for the deposition of “deleterious substances” with unknown and possibly catastrophic consequences.

    Enough! The corporate owners, aided and abetted by the DFO and the government have been permitted to conduct the open net pen feed lot experiment on BC’s coast for 30 years. No one knew what the consequences would be when this risky experiment began, but it has been a disaster of sufficient magnitude that we had the Cohen Commission.

    The fact that these regulations would abandon any existing controls, and instead expand and extend the existing reckless ecosystem experiment in complete violation of the Precautionary Principle, is unconscionable.

    Mr. Porter, I urge you to abandon these proposals and instead focus your organisation’s attention on two areas:-

    1. Implementation of all of the Cohen Commission recommendations; an effort shamefully ignored to date.
    2. Begin a program immediately to plan and execute the removal of all open net pen fish feed lots from public BC coastal waters and move them to closed containment systems. The open net pen feed lot industry is biologically dangerous and unsustainable.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
  8. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  9. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  10. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    Sent my letters, we need more people to do the same!!!
  11. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  12. Sangstercraft

    Sangstercraft Well-Known Member

    7 replies from 300 views. well it's something at least. Thanks guys.
  13. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Aquaculture Rule Changes Raise Pesticide Concerns CBC - NB
    Aquaculture rule changes raise pesticide concerns
    Coalition calls on prime minister to halt proposed amendments, citing environment, livelihoods
    Posted: Feb 18, 2015 3:46 PM AT

    A broad-based coalition is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to halt proposed changes to federal aquaculture regulations, warning they could damage the environment and existing businesses.

    The proposed amendments to the federal Fisheries Act would exempt the aquaculture industry from provisions that "prohibit the release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish."

    Coalition members are worried the changes will result in pesticides routinely being dumped into the Bay of Fundy and remove Environment Canada's role in aquaculture activities, said spokeswoman Maria Recchia, the executive director of the Fundy North Fishermen's Association.

    The coalition wrote an open letter to Harper on Tuesday, with 120 signatories, including business leaders, commercial and recreational fishing associations, scientists, lawyers and environmentalists."

    In essence, in the end, we are going end up with the aquaculture being essentially self-regulated and self-monitored," said Recchia, who is based in southwestern New Brunswick."

    And I think we're going to have a much worse style of management than we have now and it's going to be a lot more problematic for the marine environment."

    Stewart Lamont, owner of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia, agrees."

    The value of our industry is based on a pristine, non-polluted marine environment," Lamont said in a statement."

    We have already dealt with the impacts of pesticides, and see federal fines levied on something that would now become legal. To have DFO authorize pollution from a coastal industry is simply baffling," he said.

    In 2013, a New Brunswick aquaculture company was ordered to pay $500,000 after pleading guilty to two charges in connection with the deaths of hundreds of lobsters in the Bay of Fundy from an illegal pesticide about three years prior.

    The penalty against Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., a division of Cooke Aquaculture, was the largest ever imposed in New Brunswick for environmental violations under the federal Fisheries Act, an Environment Canada official had said.

    Two studies released earlier this year by Fisheries and Oceans Canada found two pesticides used to fight sea lice in the salmon farming industry have potential lethal effects.

    Salmosan​, a pesticide currently approved for use in the Bay of Fundy, can be hazardous to lobsters and other species hundreds of metres from a farm, the research conducted at the St. Andrews Biological Station showed.

    Meanwhile, Alphamax, which was temporarily used during a sea-lice infestation five years ago, could kill lobsters up to 10 kilometres away, the studies found.

    Sea lice are a parasitic crustacean that feed on the flesh of farmed salmon until the salmon die or the sea lice are removed. The draft changes to the Fisheries Act have been in the works since 2011 and are close to being passed, said Recchia."These regulations will set back Canadian aquatic environmental protection measures several decades," Bill Ernst, a retired Environment Canada toxicologist, said in a statement."

    They will eliminate Environment Canada’s role in enforcing the law with respect to aquaculture and hand responsibility over to Health Canada, who do not have an undivided environmental protection mandate.

    " - See more at:
  14. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Fish farm madness: Harper proposes lax regulations for fish-farm industry
    BY JOYCE NELSON | MARCH 12, 2015

    Photo: flickr/ Paul Miller
    Joyce Nelson investigates the Harper government's proposed regulatory changes to the Fisheries Act and its impacts on the environment and health in the two-part series on the fish-farm industry.

    In its proposed regulatory changes to the Fisheries Act, the Harper government is not only catering to the Norwegian-based multinational fish-farm industry in Canada, it is also collaborating with the U.S. government in little-known efforts to "harmonize" regulations across many sectors, including the aquaculture industry.

    The results could have devastating impacts on Canada's ocean environment, wild fish, and our fishing industries.

    Now a large coalition of businesses, fishing associations, scientists and environmentalists is calling upon Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stop proposed changes to federal aquaculture regulations, saying the changes would damage the environment and existing businesses. The Harper government is proposing to amend the federal Fisheries Act, exempting the fish-farm industry from provisions that "prohibit the release of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish."

    In an Open Letter to PM Harper dated February 17, the 120 signatories from across Canada state that "the proposed changes, if enacted, will lead to the discharge of increasingly powerful pesticides and other potentially damaging substances into the ecosystem, significantly reduce government regulatory oversight, and damage Canada's commercial interests as a provider of untainted seafood."

    The multinational fish-farm industry has been lobbying for the Canadian regulatory changes since 2011.

    The Open Letter signatories include more than 60 scientists such as B.C. independent biologist Alexandra Morton and Dalhousie University professor of biology Jeffrey Hutchings, as well as representatives from the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union-Unifor, and many fishing associations.

    The day the Open Letter was released, the Harper government announced that it will issue multi-year licences for fish-farms in B.C. in order to promote investment in the industry.

    Lethal effects
    The aquaculture industry already uses significant amounts of pesticides and drugs to stave off sea-lice infestations and other maladies, but it wants the regulatory changes in order to use even stronger pesticides, more drug treatments and other potentially "deleterious" substances.

    However, recent studies show that two of the desired pesticides -- Salmosan and AlphaMax (both trademarked) -- can have lethal effects on lobsters and other wild marine species hundreds of metres distant from a fish-farm.

    As a result of these studies, numerous fisheries associations have signed onto the Open Letter, including the Fundy North Fishermen's Association, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, Federation quebecoise pour le saumon atlantique, the Maritime Fishermen's Union, the Eastern Shore Fishermen's Protective Association, the Grand Manan Fishermen's Association and others.

    The Open Letter further states that as a consequence of the proposed changes:
    "Environment Canada's role would be eliminated, leaving reliance upon Health Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to ensure environmental protection. Health Canada does not have an undivided environmental protection mandate and DFO does not have the capacity to undertake the surveillance work of Environment Canada."

    Hundreds of scientists and other professionals' jobs have been eliminated from the DFO by the Harper government in recent years during its War on Science.

    In a startling passage, the Open Letter also states:
    "The environmental risk assessments currently performed by Health Canada for pesticide impacts are conducted in a manner that is less than transparent based upon proprietary data sets provided by chemical manufacturers. In the case of drugs, the environmental assessments are negligible and Health Canada does not conduct any subsequent environmental impacts monitoring after these same products are put into commercial usage."

    The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) -- the division of Health Canada that regulates all pesticides -- has lost more than 100 biologists and other professional personnel during Harper's prolonged War on Science. Critics say the PMRA now basically and routinely accepts the pesticide manufacturer's input regarding the safety of their products, without further investigation.

    Stewart Lamont, managing director of Tangier Lobster in Nova Scotia, told the Chronicle Herald that increased usage of the pesticides, which have killed hundreds of lobsters in previous years, "poses a substantial threat to the wild fishery."

    Bill Ernst, a retired Environment Canada toxicologist, says the proposed regulations "will set back Canadian aquatic environmental protection measures several decades." Ernst told me by email that the sea-lice pesticide AlphaMax is now made by Pharmaq, "but it seems Salmosan went from Novartis to a company called Fish Health Group."

    Pharmaq is now owned by a UK-based private equity firm called Permira -- an indication of the wide range of business interests that are now concentrating on aquaculture as the next big investment opportunity across North America.

    As we shall see, Canada and the U.S. have been busily (and quietly) coordinating regulations to ease that development.

    Joyce Nelson is an award-winning freelance writer/researcher and the author of five books.
    Photo: flickr/ Paul Miller
  15. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Guess what just got approved and published and is now law? Just before the Conservatives loose the upcoming election? Funny how the mainstream news agencies have not picked-up on this, eh?

    See p. 2273 of the 2015-07-15 Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 149, No. 14 :


    SOR/2015-177 June 29, 2015


    Aquaculture Activities Regulations

    Whereas the Governor in Council has made the Regulations Establishing Conditions for Making Regulations under Subsec-tion 36(5.2) of the Fisheries Act1a under subsection 36(5.1)2b of the Fisheries Act3c;

    And whereas the conditions established in those Regulations for the exercise of the regulation-making power of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under subsection 36(5.2)b of that Act have been met;

    Therefore, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to subsections 35(3)4d and 36(5.2)b of the Fisheries Actc, makes the annexed Aquaculture Activities Regulations.

    Ottawa, June 26, 2015


    Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2015
  16. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member
    rules give too much power to industry: fisheries group


    by Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

    Posted Jul 17, 2015 2:18 pm EDT

    Last Updated Jul 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm EDT

    HALIFAX – New rules to permit the use of pesticides in the water under fish farm pens are drawing criticism from fisheries groups concerned Ottawa is placing too much confidence in the industry’s ability to police itself.

    The rules published in the Canada Gazette this week allow some pesticides to be used provided they receive federal approval and follow rules enforced by the federal Fisheries Department.

    A federal spokesman says the rules clarify the use of pesticides, a grey area in the past because under the federal Fisheries Act dumping “deleterious substances” in the ocean was illegal.

    Some fish farms use pesticides on their pens to rid Atlantic salmon of sea lice.

    Eric Gilbert, director general of aquaculture management, says the changes to the Aquaculture Activities Regulations require companies to report any deaths of marine life near their pens.

    He said officers are being trained to investigate if pesticides are the cause and to review applications by the companies to use the chemicals.

    “If they (company employees) see one dead fish around the facility … they have to immediately call a fishery officer. … In the past we didn’t have that,” said Gilbert in a telephone interview.

    Maria Recchia, director of the Fundy North Fishermen’s Association, says she’s concerned there is too much discretion on the part of the industry to report problems resulting from pesticide use.

    She said an industry where a large operator was fined $500,000 in 2013 for using an unapproved pesticide needs more direct oversight.

    “You have an industry that went through a big court case on illegal use of pesticides and you put in regulations that … in our opinion reduce the amount of monitoring government agencies are doing,” said Recchia in a telephone interview.

    Gilbert says there are significant fines if the industry doesn’t report as required under the law.

    Recchia also said in the past Environment Canada played a role in studying the impact of pesticides on marine life and in overseeing their use, and she’s concerned the agency will play a reduced role under the regulations.

    Rob Johnson, a spokesman on the issue for the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, says he’s concerned the pesticide approval process through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency will be guided by Health Canada.

    “That agency has a health mandate but little expertise in environmental protection,” he said.

    The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association said in a news release earlier this week the rules simplify a complex and overlapping regulatory system and will help the growth of the salmon farming industry.

    “Only treatments that have undergone extensive risk assessments by Health Canada to ensure they are safe for salmon and other species, the environment and human health are registered for use,” says the release.

    Follow @mtuttoncporg on Twitter

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