Letters, April 30

Apr 30, 2020

Clairvoyant or delusional?

In these times of diligent handwashing, etc. it would seem that the preciousness of our local water supply would be even more evident than ever. This is compounded by the realities of climate change and population growth. And yet, the Viking Invaders and their local collaborators seem intent on force-feeding us a massive, privately owned, water-guzzling enterprise using our public water supply.

It is my opinion that whoever says that Belfast will never again need the Little River as a water source is either clairvoyant or delusional. My money is on the latter.

Steven Vitali


Our responsibility

This weekend I made my first visit to the Belfast Hannaford since the changes were made because of COVID-19. I got my sanitized cart outside and soon figured out the well marked pathways to ensure social distancing. At the checkout, I was directed to a register where I was the only customer. The workers were helpful and friendly, and I commend them all for a job well done.

However, I was disappointed and upset by several shoppers disregarding the arrows and signs showing customers the direction to go to maintain social distancing. Passing someone who is going the wrong way is a very close contact experience which goes against what has been done in the store for everyone's protection.

We all know the virus is in Waldo County. I think Hannaford and other businesses are trying very hard to keep it from spreading We as customers also have a responsibility in this. If we do not want to do it for ourselves, we should at least do it for others. We could save a life!

Gail Suomi


Chicken capital to caged fish capital?

Belfast City Council is advocating for the advancement of Nordic Aquafarms during the pandemic. As the world better understands risks of viruses and diseases, Nordic’s giant fish factory should have full environmental, disease and mercury assessments. Massive monocultures, where fish never see the light of day, are breeding grounds for resistant diseases and fungi which would threaten Penobscot Bay.

Diseases found at salmon factories include amoebic gill disease, poxvirus, pancreas disease, bacterial kidney disease, cardiomyopathy syndrome and pasteurella skyensis, and the list goes on. In an exposé on Scotland’s fish farms, Rob Edwards reported June 27, 2018, that inspectors found that sampled fish had “severe lice damage to their heads” and a “high lice burden.” They also found “no eyes,” “gross haemorrhaging,” “deformed hearts,” “enlarged spleens,” “anorexia,” “necrotic” gills and “yellow pseudo faeces.”

Beyond diseases, the industry journal Undercurrents reported March 2 that Norwegian land-based salmon farmer Atlantic Sapphire lost about 227,000 fish at their Hvide Sande, Denmark, facility. The cause is thought to be a nitrogen spike. In 2017 the same facility lost 250 metric tons of fish in a mass die-off.

Instead of "Chicken Capital" to "Caged Fish Capital," Belfast could be a leader in restoration, by eliminating blockage to fish passage on rivers entering Belfast Bay. Once alewives and other migratory fish return by the millions, the base of the food chain will again feed returning cod and salmon and you and me.

Jim Merkel


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Comments (1)
Posted by: Anne k Saggese | May 01, 2020 11:59

Mr.Merkel, You're STILL talking about open ocean net-pen farming: a completely different beast from land-based RAS systems - like saying you think this Mercedes won't run because you keep popping tires on your motorcycle- an illogical analogy. And there is absolutely nothing about Nordic that will hinder current and future restoration efforts in the bay. In fact, if your camp committed to putting the money it's raised to fight Nordic into actual restoration efforts, you'd probably be light years ahead of where you were a year ago so who's hindering efforts here?

And Mr Vitali, "Viking Invaders"? Really? Even Trump said he wanted MORE people from Norway coming here. A week later, Nordic announced. So even closed-border advocates like yourself should be able to refrain from zenophobic slander agains at least these people.

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