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Gord Follett

During my 26 years of writing editorials for this publication, only once have I been accused of “beating a dead horse” by repeatedly harping on a particular issue of concern to hunters and anglers in this magnificent province of ours. That was towards the end of the Sunday hunting debate more than a decade ago. And look what happened there. We won!
And so, it is with barely a hint of reservation that I once again tackle this proposed Placentia Bay aquaculture project, where it appears our provincial government is selling our souls to the Norwegian devil.
To put it as briefly as I can, government absolutely must – must – put a stop to plans by Grieg Seafoods of Norway to establish an operation near Marystown, which calls for the importation of 8,000,000 foreign salmon eggs into our waters. We all know it’s too late to pull the plug on Muskrat Falls, but not too late to pull the reins on this sick baby.
To Mr. Trimper – our minister responsible for ENVIRONMENT, not EI – and no doubt his boss, the premier, the “Ball” is in your court.
Land-based aquaculture is the only way to go, and this is being proven almost daily around the globe. Why do we have to be the horse’s ass again?
Quite frankly, you’re embarrassing us when we have a chance to prove to the rest of the world that land-based fish farming is the way to go. The way of the future. You want to take credit for feeding the starving of the world? Yeah, we can do that, easy enough.
Land-based. Disease-less. Simple.

What I wouldn’t give to see a full interview – 15-20 minutes, at least – between local salmon advocate Bill Bryden and anyone from the aquaculture industry. But it seems pretty obvious our local media simply isn’t up to par on this one. A story once a month just isn’t cuttin’ it. Maybe if Justin or Mark (and I think very highly of Mr. Critch, believe me) tore off their shirts again near some bay with deformed salmon in the background, we’d get some attention. Until then…
This is a financial and most certainly an ecological disaster just waiting to happen. But you see, because these negative effects may take a few years to fully develop, your elected members are willing to take that chance for the sake of a few jobs. Why? I believe that with a possible exception of three or four current Liberal MHAs, the rest know they will be gone by then; through no choice of their own, of course.
And as I’ve said many times before, we all want the people of the Marystown area, as well as our friends along the south coast/Bay d’Espoir to have jobs. Good God, man, we’re all in this together, as Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. But please, force Grieg and our government to make aquaculture land-based.
One of the things I find most odd about all of this is that our minister “responsible for the environment” is openly allowing this to happen without a full environmental assessment. And we had to have a local lawyer/conservationist, Owen Myers, to challenge this on his own!
Oh, and here’s a comment I noticed on Facebook June 8, from a D. Snow, that I simply couldn’t resist sharing: “Far from being an ecologically sustainable industry providing well-paying jobs for rural residents, (net-pen sea cage) aquaculture is a government-subsidized trainwreck…”
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Snow