Georgia Strait Alliance is appalled by the Strathcona Regional District zoning bylaw amendment to allow for zoning of a new fish farm at Gunner Point. We do not support in principle this decision, as suggested by Ms. Anderson in her article, and have demanded an immediate retraction of this statement. We have been very vocal in our opposition to both the Gunner Point and Yorke Island fish farm zoning, and have made written and oral submissions against the zoning application at both public hearings. You can find our written submissions, our press release after the SRD decision, and other information about these proposed farms on our website at www.georgiastrait.org
GSA continues to actively oppose both these farms sites, as they are located on the only juvenile salmon migration route exiting the northern Georgia Strait.
The conditions put on the zoning by the directors are minor and will not mitigate the damage to wild salmon and the marine environment that will occur from the addition of another fish farm. Refusal of zoning for open net pen salmon farms would be a much greater incentive for the industry to move to closed containment.
Given that Ms. Anderson states that "if we are not satisfied that...the spirit of our conditions will be met, we will not give it final approval", we hope that the SRD will see that their efforts will not result in significant change in industry practice and vote down this bylaw at fourth reading.
Ruby Berry is the Salmon Aquaculture Campaign Coordinator for Georgia Strait Alliance.