June 4, 2015 – Environment Bill of Rights – GBA Response to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resouces and Forestry (OMNR&F) recent posting
The following three documents were written in response to a recent posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights web site by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNR&F). This posting was to advise the public that the existing commercial aquaculture licenses were being renewed including a 20% increase in feed quota and, in one case, the ability to raise other species of fish than Rainbow Trout. GBA objects to this increased feed quota as it will translate into 20% more pollution coming from these cage operations into public waters. We also feel that the increased feed quota and the introduction of different fish species should trigger a more fulsome Environmental Screening process than has been used by the OMNR&F to date. The three documents are; our response to the OMNR&F on their EBR positing, a letter to the Premier detailing our concerns and a letter to Environment Canada in their role as the Canadian overseer for the bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which has strong language in it concerning phosphorous pollution.
- Letter re Aquaculture and the GLWQA to the GLEC May 12 Final
- EBR Response re Aquaculture May 26 2015
- Letter to Premier Wynne May 28 2015 FINAL
Mandate and Priorities
- Lobby government ministries in order to move the aquaculture industry to environmental sustainable practices
- Monitor the progression of US and Canadian Legislation on Aquaculture
- Attend government and industry sessions that focus on aquaculture and/ or phosphorus in the Great Lakes
- Provide open communication and liaison between the GBA . First Nation Bands, and other NGO’s (Great Lakes United, David Suzuki Foundation, Sea Choice, Ontario Nature, etc.) who share concerns about open cage aquaculture in the Great Lakes basin.
- Monitor Provincial postings for license applications and regulation changes for Cage Aquaculture and submit comments.
- Educate the GBA Association members on the issues regarding cage aquaculture
- In coordination with Georgian Bay Forever, prepare to actively lobby at all levels of Government when US legislation for ballast water treatment on ocean vessels is passed.
- Support the education of GBA association members on
- How to identify new invasive species
- Impact of invasive species on their local aquatic environment
- Steps to prevent the spread of invasive species
- Work in partnership with the Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council (EGBSC) on native fisheries projects
- Monitor and lobby the MNR on fisheries issues
- Educate members of the cottager’s associations on:
- Local fisheries initiatives (eg. bass nests, walleye restoration), cormorants, commercial fisheries, MNR studies and updated fishing regulation