The winter storms between Christmas & New Years delivered more Geoduck nets from experimental farms around Cortes. Several nets, hundreds of feet long, tangled in the driftwood, are now littering public beaches.
This is the beginning of what we can expect to find on our beaches. Once the proposed Geoduck Farms are approved, the existing wild geoduck beds will be “purged” with a pre-seeding harvest, according to this government website: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/fisheries/Shellfish/geoduck/new_subtidal.htm
This process allows commercial geoduck divers to harvest all the wild geoducks found within the farm zones, BEFORE the applicants re-plant the area with nursery grown stock.
An unfortunate side effect according to eyewitnesses -- beaches covered with dead and dying baby geoducks, apparently dislodged or accidentally killed by high-pressure waterjet blasting during the harvest.
The government recommends that the purge, “be conducted in one season between the months of March to September, during the optimum time for geoduck shows.”
Unfortunately, spring and summer are also the optimum time for islanders and tourists to show up on the beaches. Where they will find dive boats & supply boats & packing vessels working the shoreline with idling engines and noise generating equipment in waters as shallow as 30-feet.
At the Geoduck Public Meeting last July, we were told that depending on geoduck densities and the weather, it will take 1 or 2 months just to harvest EACH single hectare.
Multiply the potential 2 months of disruption by the proposed 20-hectare Cortes farm; the result is 40 months of potential noise just for the Purging Phase. Disrupting residential neighbourhoods, tourist accommodations, public beaches, and endangered species.
If the first Geoduck Farms get approved, then there will likely be many more farms surrounding the islands of Cortes, Marina, Quadra, Hernando, Savary, Denman, Trail, Nelson, Hardy, Jervis Inlet, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.
If you have concerns, then now is the time to e-mail or write your MLA & send a copy to your Regional Director too:
Claire Trevena (MLA, North Island)
Email = claire.trevena.mlaleg.bc.ca
OR fax 250-287-5105
Jenny Hiebert (Cortes Area Director)
Email = brijenoberon.ark.com
OR fax 935-6488
For more information on proposed geoduck farming around Cortes, please click on the archived link below.