Northern Harvest Smolt expansion criticised by environmental group

The Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform is concerned about a number of key issues including “project splitting”.

In July, the Marine Harvest affiliate, Northern Harvest Smolt, applied to Municipal Affairs and Environment to carry out a $51 million expansion near Port Harmon in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The news site, The Packet has reported that the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition for Aquaculture Reform (NL-CAR) has found key deficiencies at the Marine Harvest Indian Head Hatchery Expansion Registration.

The NL-CAR issued a press release that Marine Harvest “wants to separate the open net pen leases from the hatchery portion of the fish rearing in an attempt to prevent the open net pens from being required to be registered for an environmental assessment of potential damages they may cause and any public input and scrutiny of this method.”

The term “project splitting” is when individual elements of a larger project requiring an environmental impact assessment are approved without EIS or EIA, whereas if the project was considered as a sum of these part would be required by law and accordingly would require an EIS.

However in an email to the publication, Marine Harvest said its only expansion plans are for the hatchery. The company said it has no plans to pursue any other expansion plans, including no further plans to expand sea cage sites beyond the current licensed sites that have been issued to the company.

NL-CAR are currently appealing against the expansion.


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