Thanks to our neighbour Sandy Stewart, in mid-November 2013 the Kye Bay Ratepayers’ Association (KBRA) learned that Salish Sea Farms Ltd has applied to government for permits to farm geoducks in the waters off Kye Bay.  Their application is at:

http://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/getfile.jsp?PostID=43271&FileID=51766&action=view

The application includes a map which shows the proposed 94 hectare farm extending from a point in deep water off the end of the Kye Bay spit, parallel to the coastline to a point north of Air Force Beach. I understand that Salish Sea Farms is owned and/or operated by K’omoks First Nation.

KBRA directors have been examining the application. What is the local impact of a geoduck farm?  While the marine ecology is of course of interest, so is any impact on the amenity value of Kye Bay as a residential area and as a recreation destination for the Comox Valley.  What sights and sounds would Kye Bayers experience during the farm operations?

The farm would be in waters some 10 metres deep.   Seeding and harvesting the crop would be by boat.  Divers would seed the sea floor with hatchery stock, covering the area with netting against predators such as starfish and crabs.  The netting would be kept in place for the first two years, then removed.  After a total of some 8 years, divers would harvest the mature geoducks by injecting sea water into the sea bed.

The government has invited comments on Salish Sea Farms’ application  with a deadline of Thursday, November 28th. Written comments should be emailed to the Manager, Aquaculture, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations at AuthorizingAgency.Nanaimo@gov.bc.ca

Following an approach by the KBRA, Salish Sea Farms has kindly agreed to meet with Kye Bayers for a question and answer session.  All  are invited:

• 7:30 pm on Wednesday November 27 • at the Band Hall, 3320 Comox Road, Courtenay (adjacent to the Queneesh gift shop).

Mr Tom Broadley, Agent for Salish Sea Farms, will be attending.

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