ST. JOHN'S, N.L. – The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is recommending the provincial review panel return Grieg NL’s environmental impact statement (EIS) for its proposed Placentia Bay salmon aquaculture project to the company to add more details.
In a release Friday, June 22, the organization said it has completed a review of the 2,500-page document and is suggesting reviewers declare it “deficient on the grounds that it fails to meet the basic terms of the EIS guidelines.”
ASF president Bill Taylor said Grieg failed to conduct the basic research required.
"The company has relied on secondary information which has already been declared insufficient by government staff and the provincial Supreme Court," he said.
ASF indicated, in formal comments submitted to the committee reviewing the Grieg project, it argues the EIS contains “unjustified and unreasonable conclusions.”
ASF claims Grieg conducted no field work to determine migratory routes, genetic structure, and abundance of wild salmon in Placentia Bay, despite this being a clear requirement of the EIS guidelines.
As well, Grieg was required to describe how they would monitor and communicate project impacts but didn’t include that information in their submission.
Meanwhile, ASF said Grieg concluded there is no risk of interbreeding between wild salmon and farmed escapes, claiming fish will be 100 per cent sterile, but doesn’t provide verifiable evidence of the claim.
Grieg, ASF pointed out, had three years to complete the review but only used a little over two months.
"Grieg's submission is missing the information needed for reviewers to evaluate the project," said Steve Sutton, ASF's director of community engagement.
"In each case there are reasonable ways that fit well within the EIS timeframe to gather the information."
Grieg is proposing to set up a salmon hatchery in Marystown with 11 sea cages for farming Atlantic salmon in Placentia Bay.