Crabbers’ association requests review of wind farm project

  • Oct. 17, 2008 7:00 a.m.

By Alex Rawlings–A northcoast crabbers’ organization is asking for a formal panel review of the NaiKun wind project, which plans to erect up to 100 turbines in Hecate Strait.The formal submission made earlier this month to the provincial Environmental Assessment Office by the Rupert-based Area “A” Crab Association requests the NaiKun project be referred to a panel review so it can receive funding to resolve what it calls major concerns about the proposed NaiKun Wind Farm. “Specifically, our concerns surround the biological and physical processes that support and maintain Dungeness crab stocks,” said Geoffrey Gould, association executive director, adding “there is insufficient detail supplied in the proponent’s Terms of Reference document to be able to apply a rigorous risk assessment of the planning and decision-making processes as required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.”The Area “A” Crab Association represents 56 crab fishing vessels licensed to fish Hecate Strait almost year round. This sustainable, renewable industry brings in approximately $26 million a year to the local coastal economy, says the association. “There could be significant socio-economic loss to the North Coast through loss of access or through reductions in the commercial yield of the Dungeness crab stocks,” said Mr. Gould.”To date, we have no data on migratory rates, distances, or timing for crab stocks in Hecate Strait.funding for research is needed to answer (our) questions.the reality is that the development of the commercial technology for massive offshore wind farm is relatively new globally, and certainly a new development for the West Coast of Canada.thus there are currently no definitive regulatory threshold levels for marine wind is for these reasons that we believe a panel review to be the most appropriate level of assessment for this project,” said Mr. Gould.