---- Original Message -----
To: Claire Williams
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2012 1:50 PM
Subject: (Ref. F137)
Hundreds of families across
Our approach represents a significant change from previous governments which chose to openly support the growth of the industry, without implementing a formal strategy. As a result we had over 25 years of fish farms being approved along our coastline-without much public engagement about how to maximize the benefits and limit the risks to communities. I believe this led to a mistrust of aquaculture by groups such as yours and it’s a big reason why we committed to, and delivered, this province’s first aquaculture strategy.
I think we all agree that the strategy is just a first step
and more work needs to be done. That being said at the moment
I also must point out that since becoming government we
have only approved one new marine based fin fish project, comprised of two new
leases in St. Mary’s Bay. In our strategy we are clear that we are
only considering adding a small number of new sites in the future. The
slow rate of development for aquaculture your group is advocating for is the
current reality in
At current levels and with limited growth
Certainly groups such as yours have had their voices heard and have gained our attention. It’s for that reason my department recently sent you a letter outlining the various actions we have committed to taking through our aquaculture strategy to address many of your concerns.
Currently we are working to develop a regulatory system
that strikes the right balance for our province. Part of this involves
more dialogue with groups that oppose marine based farms. Ultimately we
I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with myself and our government. You need to be part of the conversation. I need to stress however, that this conversation must include a complete look at scientific evidence and must respect actual and tangible economic and industry trends. Most of all it must not lose sight of the fact that right now hundreds of Nova Scotians rely on fish farming to support their families and that we need to create jobs in rural communities.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Sterling W.W. Belliveau