Couple appealing Shelburne fish farm licenses

Greg
Greg Bennett
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Salmon farms in Shelburne Harbour will be under the microscope during an appeal filed in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

by Greg Bennett

The Coast Guard

NovaNewsNow.com

 

A Shelburne County couple has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia over a decision to approve the lease/licensing of three Shelburne Harbour salmon aquaculture Sites.

Marian and Herschel Specter, of Sandy Point, filed the appeal on June 13 through their lawyer, Andrew Taillon, of Cox & Palmer.

The appeal, allowed through the Fisheries Coastal Resources Act, is a rarely used mechanism, but Taillon compared it to more familiar remedies used to dispute decisions of the Workers Compensation Board.

Taillon said the Nova Scotia Supreme Court would be asked offer directions on the future steps of the appeal during a hearing on June 29.

The three main grounds for the appeal are that the Minister’s decision to grant the licenses and leases were unreasonable for several reasons, among which are:

·       -The Minister erroneously treated the sites in question as amendments to existing sites rather than as new sites,

·       The Minister’s decision violated the directives and guidelines of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans,

·       The Minister failed to engage in a sufficient public consultation process.

The Specters, who live near one of the present sites in the Inner Harbour are the founders of the Friends of Shelburne Harbour, a group which has expressed strong objections to ocean-based fish farming in general and specifically in Shelburne. The Specters have expressed specific concerns about pollution caused from the fish farming operations.

“The monitoring data we received from the province shocked us into action,” said Marian Specter.

A spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture said Minister Sterling Belliveau would not offer comment because the matter involved impending legal action.

Representatives of Cooke Aquaculture, which will continue the process of moving its cages within Shelburne Harbour this summer, expressed disappointment about the news of the legal action.

“We’ll just have to let the process unfold,” said Nell Halse, VP of public relations. “It’s unfortunate the complainants have never engaged with us directly over their concerns, despite our repeated attempts to engage them. We’ve responded to their request with a great deal of information and asked … ‘can you please just meet with us.’ They totally ignored us.”

 

 

 

Organizations: Supreme Court, Coast Guard, Workers Compensation Board Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

Geographic location: Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia, Sandy Point Inner Harbour

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Recent comments

  • jeff
    August 27, 2011 - 20:03

    shelburne harbour is a working harbour, but these people who live in shelburne for 4 months of the year don't seem to understand that there are 8 more months in the year, and for those 8 more months the local peoples lives surprisingly do go on, unlike teachers who just shut off after they're done their day and sit in their chair waiting for the students to come back. shelburne is a dying town, the shops are closing and more and more buildings are becoming abandoned. Something needs to happen and this is that something.

  • Gary Griffin
    June 23, 2011 - 12:22

    For those of you who await Cooke with promises of jobs, enhanced resources and open arms GO HERE and read carefully!!!!!! http://coastalcura.ca/documents/FinalLEK04292011.pdf. This report is not from politicians or DFO. It is from your neighbors across the bay in NB. Foreign workers, non local purchases and loss of sustainable lively-hoods, that's the reality of salmon aquaculture! They to were swayed by the empty promises of the industry. After 30 years see what they are left with. Closed containment on land will create many more permanent jobs/tax base. The industry will not be able to simply harvest the in pen product and move on leaving the peoples to deal with the mess they leave when a disaster such as ISA hits them.

    • Local Lady
      June 28, 2011 - 17:10

      "For those of you who await Cooke with promises of jobs, enhanced resources and open arms GO HERE and read carefully!!!!!! http://coastalcura.ca/documents/FinalLEK04292011.pdf. This report is not from politicians or DFO. It is from your neighbors across the bay in NB." This is why I want to know that everything is being dogwatched by those who will be affected by the enterprise. Allowing only the DOE and other government agencies to act as the watchdogs, and accepting only their reports, is not acceptable. Objective data does not always honestly describe the subjective impact of something this large on the surrounding communities. I think we still have a way to go before we can be comfortable with the idea of aquaculture along our coasts. Some of the reports from Scotland indicate that the negative impact of the aquaculture fishery has been significant. Perhaps the government could send some of the local people on both sides to places such as NB and Scotland to see for themselves, and to report back to us, how the average person who has lived with aquaculture feels about its overall success. We desperately need jobs here, but we do not want to just jump at anything and ruin the future for our kids. Thank you for posting that link.

  • jobs needed
    June 21, 2011 - 16:29

    come on this place needs jobs , not retires worried about there view .

  • Local Lady
    June 20, 2011 - 17:21

    “Mr Specter, as I understand it, is a past lobbyist for the Nuclear Energy industry.” If this is true, we can safely assume that he did not have to look at a nuclear power plant from his verandah, so his lobbying efforts did not personally inconvenience him. We can also assume that he knows how to maximize political and legal clout, so we need to be extremely vigilant about his opposition to the proposal. 1) Will the Specters be able to see the aquaculture equipment from their home? 2) How many others are in the “Friends of Shelburne Harbour” group, and how many of them are long-time residents of this area? 3) How educated are the people of this group in the science of sustainable aquaculture? Who is advising them? 4) Why are they, according to the news, refusing to engage with Cooke in a discussion about this issue? 5) Why would people who are not from here, have no children here, and do not even live here full time, be ” . . . very worried about the future of Shelburne and its young people”? I am not yet comfortable with the idea of sustainable aquaculture. I am not yet convinced that the controls on sustainable aquaculture are tough enough to protect our environment. And, although I want to see injections of industries that will keep our kids AT HOME, I also want those industries to be regulated by our environmental experts and dogwatched 24/7 by concerned citizens. I would like to see what sort of insurance is being proposed to protect our lobstermen if the aquaculture harms the lobster fishery. I would like to know more about 100% firm, contracted, long-term job guarantees for locals. I would like to know more about how the environmental impact of this fishery will be assessed on an ongoing basis and by whom and how often. I have many questions about this proposal, as do most of you who want to see jobs come to this impoverished area. I am not going to just jump on a bandwagon with those who want a new industry to provide jobs at any cost. However, I must question the motives of those “come from aways” who move here and then try to tell us how THEY think things ought to be done--people who have not grown up in this economy, have no children growing up with the desire to create a life here, and really have no vested interest in our communities beyond their property boundaries and their ocean views. JOONS, you go ahead and talk funny and we will continue to be happy that you are here. Our communities are enriched by those who come here with the idea that they will live WITH us rather than trying to tell us how to live.

  • Joons
    June 20, 2011 - 14:47

    I find it unbelievable that a retired wealthy people who spend perhaps 4 months a year in Shelburne County can remove the potential livelihoods of 300 families. These people also refuse any dialogue with Cooke and have no intention of having their warped understanding of modern aquaculture confused with reality. What makes it even more galling for me is that Mr Specter, as I understand it, is a past lobbyist for the Nuclear Energy industry. Now there's a winner - think 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl and now Fukashima all disasters that will never allow the ground on which they stand and for Chernobyl & Fukashima additional hundreds of square kilometres around to ever be safe for human or any use. I am also disturbed that the actions of these "come from aways" is now being applied to all of us who are not from here. We moved in 5 years ago, we're here full time, we work in our own business and we support Sustainable Aquaculture, please do not label all of us who talk funny with the taint of a few who appear to have no real concern for this area and its people. A Vote for Sustainable Aquaculture is a Vote for Shelburne, its people and its future.

  • a citizen for SUSTAINABLE aquaculture
    June 18, 2011 - 12:26

    The Specters can't win, can they? Even when they pump thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy by purchasing their home, hiring local contractors for construction work, buying at local store and using other local services, they will never be totally accepted. And heaven forbid that, based on their knowledge, education and conscience, they should speak out against any initiative that threatens not only the environment but EXISTING local jobs. (If the proposed fish farms harm the lobster fishery as they have already done in southern New Brunswick, is either Novablue or S. Williams ready, willing and able to compensate the lobstermen?) The Specters are not responsible for locals having to leave the area and seek work elsewhere. If you must blame somebody, blame local politicians and long-time residents who over the years have stood by and, swayed by the fear of lost jobs, have watched in silence as first the cod, then the herring, smelt and other stocks were decimated by overfishing, loss of habitat and pollution. The Specters are not stupid. They realize that Shelburne County desperately needs jobs. Nor are they heartless. They are wonderful, caring people who are very worried about the future of Shelburne and its young people. They have simply asked for an open, public discussion of the issue. They have also asked that any decision be based on fact and science, rather than on politics. After having tried unsuccessfully to achieve these basic rights, they are taking the only option left available to them. Rather than simply slagging those who disagree with us, what if we engaged them in a respectful discussion? If we did so with open minds, we might still not agree on the issue, but we would at least understand them better and see that they are worthy neighbours.

  • Harbour Watch Martimes
    June 16, 2011 - 05:56

    It is encouraging to see the Coast Guard and other news sources so avidly covering the on-going debate about the expansion in Nova Scotia of Cooke Aquaculture. As the farms proliferate, there will be many more communities engaged and those neighbors who support and oppose the fish farms will have to remain respectful and civil.

  • novablue
    June 15, 2011 - 19:29

    Having grown up not far from Shelburne harbour and also having a pretty good knowledge of the family names in the county ...Specters mmmm not a local name so i assume this couple are "come from awayers !!".Welcome to our community to the specters i hope you have been enjoying your time there since buying a home and moving . At least you get to enjoy my home area i on the other hand work away long stints to provide for my family while back home people fight every possibility for good companies to provide good jobs for people in our county !! The question needs to be asked ..can we humans do anything in the way of providing food,clothing ,resources ,etc for the world without some negative impact on our enviroment ? The answer to that question is NO of course not !! Instead of moving in to our area and then expecting that in a resource based area you might have to accept a little in convince and noise and then hideing that in the guise of concern for the harbour ..why didn't you do your research and then move to nervona ?? because anywhere else in the real world you may not find idealic perfection ! Shelburne needs jobs ,shelburne doesn't need retireees moving in then trying to put people out of work ! If your concerns are valid instead of just fighting progress why not offer alternate employment most of you that have moved in are people with wealth and knowledge why not start a group friends of sustainable employment for shelburne harbour and use your energy to make it happen rather then wasting it in the courts .....i don't know maybe that would make sense maybe that would endear you to our community ....maybe ..just maybe ....don't suppose we will ever find out !! thanks for the space

  • novablue
    June 15, 2011 - 19:25

    Having grown up not far from Shelburne harbour and also having a pretty good knowledge of the family names in the county ...Specters mmmm not a local name so i assume this couple are "come from awayers !!".Welcome to our community to the specters i hope you have been enjoying your time there since buying a home and moving . At least you get to enjoy my home area i on the other hand work away long stints to provide for my family while back home people fight every possibility for good companies to provide good jobs for people in our county !! The question needs to be asked ..can we humans do anything in the way of providing food,clothing ,resources ,etc for the world without some negative impact on our enviroment ? The answer to that question is NO of course not !! Instead of moving in to our area and then expecting that in a resource based area you might have to accept a little in convince and noise and then hideing that in the guise of concern for the harbour ..why didn't you do your research and then move to nervona ?? because anywhere else in the real world you may not find idealic perfection ! Shelburne needs jobs ,shelburne doesn't need retireees moving in then trying to put people out of work ! If your concerns are valid instead of just fighting progress why not offer alternate employment most of you that have moved in are people with wealth and knowledge why not start a group friends of sustainable employment for shelburne harbour and use your energy to make it happen rather then wasting it in the courts .....i don't know maybe that would make sense maybe that would endear you to our community ....maybe ..just maybe ....don't suppose we will ever find out !! thanks for the space

  • William S.
    June 15, 2011 - 18:51

    I'd like to get ahold of Mr. Specter so I can give him my bills that are due to be paid. Apparently he must be willing to pay the bills of the people of this county, since he has all the solutions to what will bring jobs here.