This article concerns an issue which has the potential to greatly change our island, severely impact our tourist economy and degrade our enjoyment of, on and around Quadra and surrounding islands.
In December 2013 DFO compiled a draft document titled “Integrated Geoduck Management Framework”, which opens virtually all of the foreshore and sub-tidal zones of coastal British Columbia, including Quadra, Sonora, Read, Maurelle, Cortes and Mitlenatch to applications for shore based and sub-tidal permanent industrial Geoduck licences (tenures) . Geoducks are to marine environments what fracking is to land.
An article published in the most recent edition of Island Tides newspaper explains the issue. Please read the article! public comments on DFO’s plans must be received by April 19th. A Saturday - please send comments earlier to be safe. The following are links to the draft document and to a series of maps showing potential sites. http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/consultation/aquaculture/geoimf-cgipan/geoimf-cgipan-eng.pdfhttp://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/consultation/aquaculture/geoimf-cgipan/maps-cartes-eng.html
For Further Information about Geoduck Farming go to: www.protectourshoreline.org
Most of the Discovery Islands are on map 13. As you can see, areas where tenures were previously denied are again open for tenure applications. A complete explanation accompanies the maps.
For our $3.5 million tourist economy this is more serious than recent ferry fare increases. Despite the fare increases tourists will still visit our islands to enjoy their natural amenities. However, if those amenities are degraded by geoduck aquaculture, visitors will not come here for kayak touring, camping, and recreation. They will not be staying in our B&B’s, or the HBI, or our lodges, they will not be buying groceries or dinner, they won’t come here.
We residents will be plagued with industrial aquaculture and industrial noise, site garbage, extreme ocean siltation, visual degradation and loss of fishing sites and paddling areas, to name only a few consequences.
Sea birds, rock fish, kelp and large areas of bottom life will die off or disappear from this area.
Your written comments to DFO are of critical importance. What to write? Personal issues such as property values, effects on our tourist economy, loss of revenue to your B&B, or your store, or your business, loss of fishing locations (the flats at Cape Mudge are a potential geoduck site), etc. Also write about Destruction of the seabed, loss of rock fish, destruction of kelp and eel grass and loss of seabird food sources. Nature is a delicate balance, the disruption of which causes huge consequences.
Every member of your family should write a letter, or at the very least everyone should print his/her name and legibly sign the letter. Write your letters today!!!
Email your comments to : Shellfish.Aquaculturedfo-mpo.gc.ca
Or comments can be mailed/faxed to:
Jennifer Mollins, Senior Coordinator, Shellfish Aquaculture Management,
Fisheries Management Branch – Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
1965 Island Diesel Way, Nanaimo, BC V9S 5W8 Fax: 250-754-0391
Submissions must be received by APRIL 19TH ! send snail mail by the 16th.