Marine Harvest now dominates the NL aquaculture industry through the buying of the bankrupt Gray's Aqua open net pen leases in NL and processing plant in Hermitage and a hatchery as well as some open net pen lease holdings in NB Canada for $15M. The $4.5 M owed to the NL government by Gray's was never repaid while $54M in ISA virus (free taxpayer funded insurance) CFIA cull order payments were paid out to them and the other two open net pen companies in NL during 2013 and 2014. Marine Harvest then purchased Northern Harvest for $315M including many NL open net pen leases, and at the time, new lease applications as well as the government funded hatchery in Stephenville. They now own 33 lease site in NL in total with more anticipated. (Update, Oct 2019, 47 sites in NL).
Marine Harvest wants to separate the open net pen leases from the hatchery portion of the fish rearing in an attempt to prevent the open net pens from being required to be registered for an environmental assessment of potential damages they may cause and any public input and scrutiny of this method.
Preventing project splitting was a key contention and point of the Supreme Court Case involving Grieg's similar plan and the decision by Justice Jillian Butler seen here: https://beta.canlii.org/en/nl/nlsctd/doc/2017/2017canlii46863/2017canlii46863.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAFR3JpZWcAAAAAAQ&resultIndex=1
Justice Butler ruled that the project had to include all three aspects of the undertaking including the: Hatchery, Open Net Pens, and Processing Plant as they were all part of one continuous production of finfish and thus had to be registered as per the Act and Regulations. Government has since appealed this decision and a ruling is expected any day now.
In the meantime, we recommend that the public review the case and consider submitting a statement to government that they include all aspects of the Marine Harvest expansion plans in Stephenville including both the hatchery expansion and the open net pens that will use these fish. Moreover, a list of deficiencies in the current plan include all those seen in the Grieg EIS submission and more. Please see Grieg EIS INFO for more details.
We anticipate enough demand and obvious potential environmental harm to warrant a full EIS for this expansion.
A formal Appeal to include the open net pens in the expansion plans was been filed on July 24th. A copy can be downloaded here: Project Splitting by Marine Harvest Formal Appeal
Marine Harvest's current version of the expansion project EA Registration can be seen here: https://www.mae.gov.nl.ca/env_assessment/projects/Y2018/1975/index.html