Why the secrecy behind shellfish tenure in Baynes Sound?

Dear editor,
Where is the public information process around the application by 846381 BC Ltd.?

Dear editor,Where is the public information process around the application by 846381 BC Ltd.?The application for a 10 to 30 year commercial shellfish tenure in Baynes Sound situated on Crown land located in the Royston/Union Bay area of Baynes Sound is set to be decided June 29, 2012.Why has this application, which was received by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations on Oct. 13, 2011, been so hushed? The commercialization of the Comox Valley ocean floor is huge and the citizens of the Comox Valley should be asked to be part of the process so we can understand what it really means to the local marine environment, marine recreation and the Comox Valley lifestyle. This is pretty scary stuff.  Is the B.C. Liberal government encouraging aquaculture without concern for the real life impact it has to those that live in the province?What about the applicants? Are they responsible corporate citizens?One of the applicants, Mr. Eric Gant of Manatee Holdings Ltd., has a website logo that states “profit from a biological goldmine.” Is this an indication of “gold fever?” In my opinion, the applicants, Dan Bowen, Eric Gant, Bun Thorburn, Josh Chernov, and the government have not been forthright about this application.There are many potential negative impact considerations such as commercial noise pollution, commercial light pollution, litter, and degradation of our local biodiversity from the artificial domination of a single species to name a few. This proposed venture, in my mind, does not present an optimistic future for the environment nor for the many ways the community now enjoys our tranquil waterways. This is big money for a few.It is the Comox Valley/Baynes Sound residents who will be directly impacted by negative fallout from this substantial commercial shellfish operation. Puget Sound has pictures of plastic pipes and plastic nets that harm the marine birds and animals from geoduck farming. They also show no trespassing signs on their foreshore.Will that be our fate, too? Will our beaches continue to be a place where we are allowed or even still want our kids to play? Will we be forbidden to recreate in the waters of our own community? We can only guess, and what scares me even more, is that neither our politicians nor the applicants seem to feel compelled to let us know.To let the government know you want to keep Baynes Sound a place for people, not industry, send your written concerns to the Manager, Aquaculture, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, 2500 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 5M6 or e-mail authorizingAgency.Nanaimo@gov.bc.ca before June 29, 2012.Sue Vince, Royston

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