Plover Point Comment Submission Summary
Thank you for taking the time to submit your comments to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations demanding that Plover Point tenure application (PLOVER POINT LANDFILE #1413555) be denied. All comments should be submitted to: AuthorizingAgency.Nanaimo@gov.bc.ca
For your reference, below is a summary of the reasons why CAAR is calling for the denial of this application:
- BC salmon aquaculture siting criteria state that tenures must be at least 1 kilometre away from fish-bearing streams. The southeastern portion of the proposed tenure is less than 1 kilometer from the mouths of two salmon bearing streams. New science is calling into question the adequacy of a 1 kilometre minimum distance between net-cage salmon farms and wild salmon bearing streams, suggesting that even more distance is required. Wherever open net-cage salmon farms operate, sea lice levels on wild juvenile salmon migrating past the farms are found to be elevated above natural background levels. Fortune Channel is a known migration route for declining runs of wild salmon in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve. Adding another salmon farm to Fortune Channel will increase lice levels on juvenile wild salmon and potentially expose them to other disease outbreaks as well.
- Herring are known to spawn in the vicinity of Plover Point and the proposed tenure is less than the required 1 kilometre minimum distance from important or vital herring spawning areas. Eelgrass beds and kelp beds have been identified within the tenure boundaries and are classified as Important Habitats for other aquatic species including spawning herring. Wastes originating from open net-cage salmon farm pose a serious threat to the health of these important habitats and to the web of marine life that depends on them.
- Shellfish beds have been identified by the applicant within the boundaries of the proposed tenure. BC salmon aquaculture siting criteria require a minimum distance of 125 metres from wild shellfish beds.
- Marine mammals are known to frequent the Plover Point/Fortune Channel area and could be harmed (as has been the case in the past) by predator netting that Mainstream intends to use to protect its fish. Marine mammals of concern include but are not limited to sea lions, orcas and harbour porpoises. The presence of a farm could also disturb an established sea lion haul out at Plover Point.
- The area of the proposed tenure is actively fished by commercial Spot Prawn, Dungeness Crab and Geoduck fishermen and their livelihoods will be negatively affected with the addition of another net-cage salmon farm. BC Spot Prawns are recognized as a sustainable seafood option and constitute a high value fishery.
- The provincial government and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have set a minimum distance between net-cage salmon farms owned by different companies at 3 kilometres. The proposed farm would lie only 1.5 kilometres from an existing net-cage salmon farming site owned by another company and is therefore in violation of this rule.
- The proposed tenure is directly in the path of a kayak route. Wilderness tour operators, guides and kayak rental businesses all depend on safe and scenic routes in close proximity to Tofino. This proposed tenure would negatively impact those existing business operations.
See Our Submissions:
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has been experiencing problems with its “Reasons for Decision Webpage” concerning the Plover Point application and the public has been unable to access the application and submit comments via this location.
If you wish to view the Plover Point application documents, they are available on the Integrated Land Management Bureau website or at the links below: