Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) has approved the construction of a salmon farm in the inland port of Ostend, the largest on land in Europe. Much to the delight of the Port Authority, but to the horror of animal rights organization GAIA. He will already appeal against the decision.
Columbi Salmon is a Norwegian company with extensive experience in salmon farming. And in Ostend you want to do it with tanks on the ground. This involves an investment of approximately 150 million euros that will directly and indirectly create up to 200 jobs. This farm will become the largest land-based Atlantic salmon farm in Europe, producing 12,000 tons of Atlantic salmon annually.
It is also a sustainable business, as most salmon consumption takes place in northern France, Belgium, part of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
The province had already granted an environmental permit, but an objection was lodged by animal rights organizations. According to Animal Right, Bite Back, Sea Shepherd Belgium, Climaxi vzw, and GAIA, such a farm causes “untold suffering to millions of individuals.” But with only positive advice, Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir has now decided to support the boycott decision. “The application is located in the area of a seaport area and therefore complies in principle with the applicable urban development regulations,” is the explanation.
Port CEO Dirk DeClercq also defends nursery access. “Colombian Salmon chose a site along the water. We were able to convince them of the complete package for a site in Ostend. As a port, we decided to diversify our activities and not focus only on offshore wind turbines. Aquaculture is therefore a great addition to our activities and beneficial for employment. It is also a sustainable activity, as “Most salmon consumption takes place in northern France, Belgium, part of the UK and the Netherlands. By growing locally here, you are creating an environmental advantage. Wastewater will also be reused,” the CEO explains.
This project illustrates the true reality of intensive aquaculture: extreme delusions of grandeur
According to the Port of Ostend, construction could start quickly, but this will depend on the appeal procedures. The animal rights organization GAIA immediately announces that it will go to the Permit Disputes Board and appeal to overturn Minister Sahel Demir’s decision.
“We have taken note of the decision of the Flemish Environment Minister, but for several reasons we do not agree to grant the environmental permit. GAIA has already objected during the procedure, along with 14 local residents,” says Michel Vandenbosch, President of GAIA. . We offer and regret not taking this into consideration. One of our appeal arguments stated that salmon farming was unsustainable, while this was not addressed in the decision. In addition, we are of the opinion that the company also does not belong to the area for seaport-related and seaport-related activities.”
GAIA refers to the “Catastrophic Disadvantageous Impact on Animal Welfare of Project Paranoia.” “On an annual basis, it is a permit for a production capacity of 2.9 million salmon, which the company wants to grow in underground tanks. Concretely, this amounts to 36 salmon compressed into one cubic meter, and tens of thousands that will be packed into such tanks. Meaning Other: In worse living conditions than in harsh battery cages for chickens. It is unacceptable for salmon, migratory fish that typically swim up to 4,000 kilometers. “This project demonstrates the real reality of highly intensive aquaculture: extreme delusions of grandeur,” says Vandenbosch. “.
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