What is the Position of the ASSOCIATION for the PRESERVATION of the EASTERN SHORE (APES) on the Proposed Eastern Shore Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA)?
The Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore was formed in February 2012 when communities on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia became aware of and concerned about applications to establish marine-based fish farms in our harbours. We came to the conclusion that this industry would not only pollute our harbours but also threaten our backbone industries of lobster fishing and tourism. We organized, worked hard, spoke with one voice, and won.
When the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore became aware of the Area of Interest being announced, we organized a meeting to inform the community about the process for designating a Marine Protected Area. The APES is interested in bringing our experience and voice to the consultation table of DFO’s Advisory Committee.
The Association (APES) has one representative on an Advisory Committee of over 35 people that are meeting with DFO to advise them of what the communities of the Eastern Shore want. The other representatives on the committee are other community groups, the Eastern Shore Fishermans Protective Association, tourism groups, businesses, Chambers of Commerce, the Aquaculture Association, Hunters and Anglers, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, scientists, and the provincial and federal governments.
The residents of the Eastern Shore are at the beginning of a process of consultation. There has only been one meeting of the Advisory Committee.In addition to these meetings, there will be meetings held in the various communities of the Eastern Shore.
On the Advisory Committee, the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore (APES) will present a position that:
- Supports a community-driven process and "IF" a Marine Protected Area is created, that it be managed in partnership with the community.
- Supports the livelihoods of the Fishers of the Eastern Shore being protected.
- Supports the work of the eco-tourism businesses of the Eastern Shore.
Supports the traditional recreational usage of our marine environment.
- Supports keeping our harbours clean and pristine and therefore - No high impact industrial activity such as open pen fish farms, oil and gas development, undersea mining, and marine based wind farms etc.
- Supports sustainable development options so that the children and grandchildren of our communities can remain and be employed in meaningful work.
WE WANT TO KEEP WHAT WE HAVE by ensuring that the protection of our environment, work and culture of the Eastern Shore is maintained and built upon. If we can be part of creating a Marine Protected Area with these conditions, then APES will fully support one. If not, then we will not.
We believe that just saying NO at this time to any kind of protection is not an option as we are then left vulnerable to high impact industries such as fish farms and oil and gas development, which the provincial government fully supports. Ask the communities of the South Shore how difficult it is to keep out these industries. Ask the fishers of Northumberland Strait how difficult it will be to maintain their livelihoods with the threat of effluent from a mill being dumped in to their harbour.
And by saying NO before we have had input from the community saying what it wants, we are blocking out possible positive choices for sustainable development options that protect the ecosystems upon which our livelihoods and culture are based.
Lets talk about WHAT WE WANT and not shut down the conversation at such an early stage!