‘Lure of the Oriental market is very attractive’

Dear editor,

It is too late to e-mail the Department of Fisheries about the applications for massive tenures of undersea land.

Dear editor,

Although it is too late to e-mail the Department of Fisheries about the applications for massive tenures of undersea land adjacent to our beaches, there is still time to write a letter to the Manager of Aquaculture, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (BCMFLRO) protesting this messy use of our public resource.

The address is 2500 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 5M6 or you can e-mail AuthorizingAdency.Nanaimo@gov.bc.ca. Letters must be received by Nov. 28.

These applications for geoduck cultivation are for unprecedentedly large areas off Kye Bay, the Comox Bluffs, Denman Island, and Henry Bay.

The preferred method of cultivation seems to be driving thousands of plastic tubes into the sand, placing the geoduck seed into the tubes, and then some years later harvesting by using high-pressure hoses to uncover the geoducks.

Not only would this muddy the waters, it would effectively clean the undersea of any eelgrass or other seaweed or sea life.

There would also be acres of nets attached to the bottom to ward off predators. Seems like we have heard this before, radically changing an ecosystem so that a few can profit from the use of a public resource.

Now for the technical details.

The file numbers are 1414123, 1414124, 1414125, 1313126, 1414127, and 1414128. These applications cover 521.4 hectares (1,288.5 acres) in the heart of the Comox Valley recreational area and beaches.

Along with two other applications which have already been filed, it would more than double the shellfish tenures in Baynes Sound with all the attendant debris, noise, and unsightly alienation of our beaches.

It’s hard to believe that  BCMFLRO would seriously consider these applications but the lure of the Oriental market is very attractive.

We can’t let it happen. Your comment window is small but it is your chance to take part in participatory democracy. Please take it.

Ed Varney,

Courtenay