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General News · 22nd November 2016
Dan Hilton
In response to the open letter by Michelle Glickman:

We appreciate the concerns raised in this letter, and wish to address some of those expressed. We take the concerns for the well being of our surrounding community very seriously, because we are also a part of this community and we wish to support and foster a balanced relationship with all those we share it with.

We value the importance of the tourism industry on Cortes, and the seasonal jobs it provides. However, ISF offers, year-round full-time employment with benefits, for twenty-five locals and their families. The shellfish industry has also been a vital aspect of the economy and community within the Gorge for generations.

We recognize that our equipment has raised new concerns about noise levels within the Gorge on Sundays and Tuesdays, the two days a week that we run our harvest operation. We have taken steps to address this issue, such as covering the main motor to reduce noise, and moving our harvest operations away from the more central B-islets. This move took place this year, at the end of this season when a complaint was brought to our attention. We also wish to maintain an open dialogue that will help us work with the community and make changes that allow us to continue operations.

We have made a concerted effort to maintain a low noise level and within regional bylaw limits. On two different occasions the regional inspector measured the decibel levels from shore, at two different sites, and found that our harvest operation registered at 63db with the occasional spike to 73db. Below is the WHO noise chart, which breaks down the decibel levels with common examples http://www.noisehelp.com/noise-level-chart.html.

One of the issues raised was concerning processing within the Gorge. We would like to address the misconception that we are operating a processing plant inside of the Gorge, all our mussels are sent to an off-site processing plant in Campbell River.

Because we recognize that there are growing concerns within the Gorge about our operations we want to ensure that the local community has an effective and appropriate outlet to communicate with us. For any concerns or questions please contact our assistant manager, Dan Hilton, at dan.hiltonislandseafarms.com, or our manager Ron Francis at ron.francisislandseafarms.com.

Sincerely,
Dan Hilton
Thanks but....
Comment by Walker Evans on 23rd November 2016
That's nice that your operation provides employment to 25 locals but not at the expense of the tranquility people moved to Cortes in the first place for. I know the shellfish industry has been operating in the Gorge for decades but the mechanized part is only a relatively recent addition and has been controversial since its inception. I appreciate that you are trying to mitigate the effects of the noise but I can even hear it from my inland property so you've still got a lot of work to do. I would never subject my neighbours to such a racket. Not cool.
Real WHO facts an figures
Comment by Aaron O'Connor on 23rd November 2016
The chart provided in this ISF response is not the WHO guidelines as stated. Numerous WHO studies may be found online accompanied with findings that show human health effects resulting from excess noise. ISF, to suggest that sustained dB levels of 63-73dB are safe goes against the science. These levels may not cause hearing damage to your neighbours but do effect human health in myriad ways. These studies also detail the negative effects caused to communities (social and economic) as a result of noise pollution. ISF, as you consider your appropriate response to this problem please engage in the facts, and act accordingly.