Category Archives: Species at Risk

Salmon Wars Campaign #2

You undoubtedly have heard that the  NS government has given the Norwegian aquaculture giant, Cermaq, the option to explore putting open-net pens in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bays. Open-net fish farms, which are being eliminated in BC, threaten our environment through disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and more. Opposition to having open-net pens in our waters is mounting.

Our chapter has joined the Twin Bays Coalition which is a very active organization  working with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, Friends of Nature, Ecology Action Centre, as well as interested individuals to oppose open-net fish farming.

If you are concerned about this issue, here are a few opportunities for action and education. 

We are sorry that due to an overflow crowd at our public meeting on January 26, people had to be turned away.  We now have a clean ‘edited’ version of the presentations.  You can watch it by going to the youtube channel and searching for twinbayscoalitionrally.  It is in 8 short episodes. You can also watch it on the Twin Bays facebook page. 

Representatives from the Twin Bay Coalition have been making presentations to municipal councils. There has been a misunderstanding and the  presentation to the Town of Lunenburg Council will not take place on Tuesday, February 11 at 5:15 pm. Stay tuned for notification of the new date for this presentation. 

Councillor Michael Ernst is moving this motion at the regular MODL council meeting on Tuesday, February 11. “Request that the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg not support the development of open pen fish farms in District 8, Mahone Bay, as defined on the attached map.” The meeting begins at 9 am and when necessary continues after the lunch break and this item is near the end of the agenda. It is important to have supporters in attendance but it is not possible to give an accurate time. You can check with the municipal office to see if they have a better idea of the time frame. Councillor Ernst has also stated that “If other Councillors representing coastal areas of the Municipality wish to amend this motion to include the coastal areas in their districts they may do so.” In light of this it is important that you contact your councillors before Tuesday and urge them to amend the motion to include your district.

Here’s a terrific op-ed in the January 31  Chronicle Herald, from Helga Guderley.  Read it here

We will have an info table at the Lunenburg Farmers Market on Thursday, February 27th. Contact us if you are able to work a 1.5 hour shift or if you are at the market stop by and have a chat with us.

The Twin Bays Coalition has organized a second public meeting, this time in Tantallon.  It will be held on Sunday, March 1st at 2pm at St. Margaret’s Centre in Upper Tantallon.  Facebook event here:

Finally, consider joining the Twin Bays facebook group:  twinbayscoalition.  And visit the website:  Links to petition, opportunities for action and lots more information. 

We know that Cermaq is doing an excellent job of lobbying our elected officials.  We need to work equally hard to convince our elected officials that open-net fish farming is not the answer for our communities, our economy, or the environment. Write and/or call your local councillor, MP and MLA to register your concern.

Thank you for your support!

Salmon Wars Campaign Update

Dear Friends:

Since our last salmon update we, through Twin Bays coalition, have:

  • Presented to four local Municipal Councils
  • Co-hosted a public session in Mahone Bay with the Council of Canadians. It’s posted on the Face Book page
  • Opened  up a separate FON bank account to handle banking for Twin Bays Coalition
  • Participated in a CBC interview, written several op-eds, and put ads in two local papers.
  • Met face to face with Cermaq

Upcoming activities are:

  • Meeting with Hugh MacKay on Monday
  • Round two with the Chester Council this Thursday, Feb 6 at 0900. We will be listening to presentations from Cermaq and the Aquaculture Association and asking them questions. If you could attend to show your support, that would be terrific.
  • Round two with MODL (Municipality of the District of Lunenburg) on Tuesday Feb 11 at 0845.
  • Presentation to the Town of Lunenburg at 5:15 pm, same Tuesday.

Here’s what you can do the help:

  • Attend all three council presentations
  • Visit and sign the petition
  • Write to all the politicians you can think of, and to the papers. Draft letters will soon appear on
  • Tell all your friends to get educated and write letters too.
  • Mark your calendars for two upcoming events:
    • Sunday, March 1: public meeting at St Margaret’s Centre at 2:00 pm
    • Wednesday March 11 or Thursday, March 12 (to be determined): FON AGM at 7:00 pm with a speaker on salmon as the main event.

Best regards and thanks

Syd Dumaresq , Chair, Friends of Nature


Salmon Wars Campaign

Dear Friends:

We find ourselves yet again in opposition to our own government and the aquaculture industry. Cermaq, a giant multi-national aquaculture firm (owned by Mitsubishi) has been granted options to install industrial size open pen salmon farms in the pristine waters of St Margaret’s Bay, Mahone Bay, Lunenburg Bay, the mouth of the LaHave River, St Mary’s Bay and large parts of  Guysborough and Richmond Counties.

Friends of Nature is proud to be a co- founder of the Twin Bays Coalition. I encourage you to have a look at:

Our campaign includes meeting with government at all levels. Upcoming municipal council presentations are listed below. It is very important that we fill the visitor’s gallery at each of these and I urge you to attend as many as you can.

1.   Tuesday, Jan 21, 0900 Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, (located in Bridgewater) council presentation.

2.   Sunday, Jan 26, 2:00 pm, Council of Canadians Public meeting, Mahone Bay Centre

3.   Monday, Jan 27, 6:00 pm, Town of Bridgewater, council presentation.

4.   Thursday Jan 30, 9:00 am, Chester Municipality, council presentation.

5.   Thursday Jan 30, 7:00 pm, Town of Mahone Bay, council presentation.

6.   Tuesday,  Feb 11, 5:15 pm, Town of Lunenburg, council presentation

In addition, Friends of Nature will be participating in the following event, which I hope you can also attend:

The South Shore Chapter of the Council of Canadians, in partnership with the Twin Bays Coalition, is presenting a meeting, “There’s still time to protect our bays: Say No to open-net fish farming”. In light of the NS government’s giving an option to Japanese aquaculture giant, Cermaq, to explore putting open-net pens in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bays, this public meeting will examine the risks associated with open-net fish farming. Open-net pens, which are being eliminated in BC, threaten our environment though disease, parasites, toxic chemicals and more.

The event will include presentations from the Ecology Action Centre, the Twin Bays Coalition, Protect Liverpool Bay, St. Mary’s Bay Protectors, and the Association for the Preservation of the Eastern Shore. Excerpts of the film, Salmon Wars: Wild Fish, Aquaculture and the Future of Communities, will be shown; a short film on a Nova Scotia land-based alternative to open-net pens will also be presented. There will be opportunities for discussion among panelists and questions / comments from the audience will be encouraged as we address an issue that is a concern in communities throughout the province.

The event will be held on Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2 pm at the Mahone Bay Centre (45 School St., Mahone Bay). Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully received to cover costs. Everyone is welcome to attend.

With best wishes,

Syd Dumaresq

Chair, Friends of Nature

Legal Action for Nova Scotia’s Species at Risk

Dear Friends:

Jamie Simpson, one of our board members, is acting for Bob Bancroft and three other groups in launching this action to require the NS Government to  live up to their legislated requirement to protect species at risk.

Friends of Nature fully supports this action. Great work Jamie and Bob!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2019   Halifax, Nova Scotia

Wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft and nature organizations launch legal action for Nova Scotia’s species at risk

Mr. Bob Bancroft and three of Nova Scotia’s naturalists’ societies say it is time to ask the courts to intervene on behalf of Nova Scotia’s most at-risk wildlife and plants.

“The Department of Lands and Forestry has mandatory legal obligations under the Endangered Species Act that have not been fulfilled,” explains retired Acadia University biology professor Dr. Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, president of Blomidon Naturalists Society, one of the parties to the legal proceedings.  “We’re simply asking the Court to tell our government to do what it is already required to do by law.”

In court documents filed today, the applicants allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry (formerly the Department of Natural Resources) has failed to meet its legal obligations with respect to 34 species, including mainland moose, wood turtle, bank swallow, and a host of other species designated at risk in Nova Scotia.

“The Department has not yet identified core habitat for our mainland moose, a requirement that is now over-due by more than a decade,” says wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft, president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Naturalists (also known as Nature Nova Scotia).

The legal documents allege that the Department of Lands and Forestry has not yet identified a single acre of core habitat of threatened and endangered species, despite the legal requirement to do so under the Endangered Species Act.

Other short-comings noted in the documents include failures to appoint recovery teams and create recovery plans within the time-frames required under the Act.

“This is a rule of law case,” notes Jamie Simpson, lawyer for the applicants.  “The Act requires the Minister of Lands and Forestry to do certain things towards the recovery of species at risk in Nova Scotia.  We are asking the Court to uphold the rule of law and require the Department to abide by the Act.”

The Department’s short-comings with respect to species at risk has been reported several times.  In 2015, the East Coast Environmental Law Association published a report calling on the Department to address the alleged violations of the Species at Risk Act.  In 2016, the Office of the Auditor General of Nova Scotia published a review of the Department’s track-record on species at risk, noting the alleged failure to fulfill mandatory requirements under the Act.


For more information:

Bob Bancroft: 902 386 2501 ,

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen: 902-582-3971,

Jamie Simpson: 902 817 1737,


Let’s end open net pen salmon farming in Canada

Dear Friends,

This petition contains many good reasons why open pen salmon farms are a really bad idea. If enough of us sign Bernadette Jordan’s (the MP for the South Shore where many pens are located) petition, it will present it to Parliament. If you are in agreement, could you please sign it and send the message to Ottawa.

Sign the petition:

Read background info here: MP Posts Petition of Constituents to End Open Net Pen Salmon Farming 

  • Containing Atlantic salmon in open-net cages in our oceans has serious consequences;
  • Adding antibiotics to fish feed which is then sprayed directly into the ocean is reckless and dangerous, considering the rapid development of antibiotic resistant bacteria and the detrimental effects it is having on human health;
  • Pesticides released into the ocean to kill sea lice on salmon are killing lobsters, and detailed studies on the effects of pesticides on the environment need to be done before allowing their use in our oceans, otherwise it could be argued that this industry and government are using a food source, the environment and consumers in an industrial experiment;
  • Millions of caged salmon in the Maritimes are being killed by super-chill, which is inhumane and abusive, and this practice of keeping caged fish in an area where the water can freeze should be considered unacceptable;
  • The number of wild fish destroyed to feed farmed fish and the number of farmed fish destroyed due to the growing conditions on these sites is a testament to the unsustainable nature of this industry; and
  • The industry’s claim that escapes do not occur is unfounded, and after storms there are often buoys, nets, plastic pipes and ropes littering the shoreline adjacent to leased areas

Many Thanks
Syd Dumaresq, Chair Friends of Nature

The End of the Mersey Hatchery: Sad News for Endangered Atlantic Whitefish and Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon Mersey Hatchery
The Mersey Hatchery closure threatens the Atlantic salmon population.

We are sad to see the closure of the Mersey Hatchery near Milton, Queens County, Nova Scotia, which had such great potential in the restoration of Atlantic salmon. Continue reading