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Halifax – November 12, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

East Coast Environmental Law (ECELAW), Atlantic Canada’s only environmental law charity, has released a report analyzing the new regulatory framework for aquaculture in Nova Scotia. New Regulations released on October 26, 2015, are an improvement from the previous regulatory framework but fail to live up to the Provincial Government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of an independent review panel.

The Doelle-Lahey Panel, commissioned by the Provincial Government, consulted a wide range of stakeholders including the aquaculture industry and coastal communities. In its final Report the Panel recommended a fundamental overhaul of aquaculture regulation in Nova Scotia, in order to address serious concerns regarding openness, transparency, Ministerial discretion, and a lack of social licence for industry to operate in this province. The Doelle-Lahey Report did not recommend a moratorium on open-net finfish aquaculture, but the many groups pursuing that goal agreed to put aside their continued calls for such a moratorium if the Panel recommendations were fully implemented.

The Provincial Government has implemented some of the Doelle-Lahey recommendations, including the introduction of an independent review board, public hearings for certain licence applications, third party auditing, and management plans. That said, some recommendations that go to the core concerns of openness, transparency and reducing discretion have not been implemented, including provisions concerning the proactive release of information to the public, the designation of certain at-risk areas as unsuitable for aquaculture development, and the ability for the public to request the revocation of a licence from repeat-offenders.

ECELAW urges the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to take the steps necessary to fully implement the recommendations of the Doelle-Lahey Panel. A failure to take all recommendations seriously threatens the ability for finfish aquaculture to operate with social licence from the people of Nova Scotia, and may result in an atmosphere where public calls for a permanent moratorium are stronger than ever.

Read ECELAW’s analysis of the new regulatory framework by downloading the attachment, below.

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Media Contact:                

Aaron Ward, Executive Director, ECELAW

[email protected] | (902) 495-9111 | twitter: @ecelaw

Check out ECELAW's new report on the province's legal obligations with respect to mainland moose and other species at risk in Nova Scotia.  Click here to read the report.

ECELAW is pleased to release two reports on Environmental Rights in the Maritimes.  The first is an introduction to environmental rights.  It explains the concept and benefit of environmental rights.  The second report is a summary of three workshops on environmental rights, held in each of the Maritime provinces, along with strategies to move torwards the legal recognition of environmental rights in the Maritimes.

Read the reports here:

Environmental Rights Primer

Environmental Rights Workshop Summary and Legislative Roadmap

ECELAW's executive director Jamie Simpson was honoured to speak at the David Suzuki Foundation's events in St. John's NL and Halifax NS.  Jamie was asked to deliver a speech on environmental rights and to introduce Dr. Suzuki. You can read Jamie's speech here.  Both events drew some 1,000 people to hear Dr. Suzuki make his compelling case for Canadians' right to a healthy environment.

The DSF is crossing the country with the message that it is past time for Canada to recognize Canadians' right to clean water, air, and land.  Visit www.bluedot.ca to learn more, and to add your voice.

ECELAW pleased to work with three outstanding students who participating in the 2014 Environmental Law Placement course -- check out their research on environmental rights, endangered species, and cosmetic pesticide by-laws.

  1. Will Horne Pesticide bylaw paper v 1 3
  2. Moose Paper, Steven Evans, June 24 2014
  3. Environmental Rights and Aboriginal Rights Placement Paper, April 2014
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