Fish farms, and the dire plight of our extraordinary natural heritage
On October 17, seafoodsource.com reported that Norway-based aquaculture company AquaCon canceled a $300 million land-based industrial fish farm to be built in Federalsburg, Maryland. The move followed a September 19 public meeting at which the company faced public opposition for its plans to discharge 2.3 million gallons of "treated water" into habitat of officially endangered Atlantic sturgeon.
Seafoodsource.com also reported that on October 3, Federalsburg Mayor Kimberly Abner and the Federalsburg Town Council joined the project's opposition.
Contrast that with right here in Belfast, where Mayor Eric Sanders and the City Council have from day one marched in lockstep with Nordic Aquafarms' plans to build a $500 million industrial fish farm that would spew million 7.7 million gallons of effluent per day – more than three times the Maryland figure – into habitat of the same endangered Atlantic sturgeon, a fish that grows to 14 feet long, can weigh more than 800 pounds and can leap nine feet into the air.
And into habitat of the also endangered Atlantic salmon.
And would destroy habitat of the also threatened bobolink bird, which weighs only 1-2 ounces and migrates 13,000 miles a year to southern South American and back.
Too bad Mayor Sanders, the City Council and Nordic Aquafarms don't share Federalsburg, Maryland's, concern for the dire plight of our extraordinary natural heritage.
Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast