Transcript: Ep. 4 - Bras d'Or | Oct 25, 2016

Joe Googoo stands behind a table outdoors opening oysters. He is in his fifties, with a moustache and black hair. He wears glasses, an orange cap and matching jacket.

A Male Narrator says JOE GOOGOO IS
A MI'KMAQ OYSTER FARMER
ON CAPE BRETON
WHO WAS PUT OUT
OF WORK IN 2002
WHEN THE PARASITE MSX
KILLED OVER 90 PERCENT OF
OYSTERS IN THE BRAS D'OR LAKE.

Joe says I HAD OVER 400,000
OYSTERS AT THE TIME, WHICH
I LOST.

The Narrator says NOW JOE IS USING
EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES
TO TRY AND HELP THE OYSTER.

Joe says THIS WAS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE I
FOUND ENOUGH OYSTERS TO TRT
TO GET THEM GOING AGAIN.

The Narrator says OYSTER FARMING
HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED
A PROMISING ALTERNATIVE
TO WORKING IN
CAPE BRETON'S DECLINING
COAL AND STEEL INDUSTRIES,
MAKING THE MSX OUTBREAK
ESPECIALLY DEVASTATING.
BUT JOE IS NOT ALONE IN HIS
EFFORTS TO HELP THE OYSTER
HERE IN THE BRAS D'OR
LAKE BIOSPHERE RESERVE.
FOR MORE THAN A DECADE,
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN
USING SCIENCE
AND TRADITIONAL
MI'KMAQ KNOWLEDGE
TO FIND INNOVATIVE WAYS
OF LOCAL INDUSTRIES.
AND THEY ARE
REFUSING TO GIVE UP
UNTIL THEY CRACK
THE PROBLEM.

Joe says ALL MY LIFE I
DEPENDED ON THE OYSTER.
IT’S ABOUT TIME THEY DEPEND
ON ME TOO.

(theme music plays)

The Narrator says BIOSPHERE RESERVES ARE REGIONS
OF GLOBAL ECOLOGICAL
SIGNIFICANCE
THAT MAKE AN ONGOING
TO STRIVE FOR SUSTAINABILITY.
THEY ARE NOT PARKS,
AND THEY HAVE
NO LEGAL AUTHORITY.
THEY ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE
ARE INSPIRED TO FIND WAYS
TO LIVE AND WORK
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE.
THIS SERIES EXPLORES
WHAT'S HAPPENING
IN CANADA'S
BIOSPHERE RESERVES...
THE SUCCESSES AND
THE CHALLENGES
OF PEOPLE
DETERMINED TO CREATE
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES.
COME WITH US ON
A COAST-TO-COAST ADVENTURE
SPANNING THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
IT JUST MIGHT CHANGE
THE WAY YOU THINK
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT
AND OUR PLACE IN IT.

A fast-motion clip shows northern lights, flock of white birds, woods, mountains, a port, people trekking, sailing and working with various animals.

Against a beach, the title of the show reads "Striking Balance. Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve. Narrated by Jim Cuddy."

(seagulls squawking)

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Doctor Bruce Hatcher. Chair in Marine Ecosystem Research, Cape Breton University." Bruce is in his fifties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears a blue cap and a purple and green sweater.

Bruce says THERE ARE
EXPEDITIONARY SCIENTISTS
WHO MOUNT AN EXPEDITION
AND HEAD OFF AND SPEND A WEEK,
OR A MONTH, OR A YEAR
STUDYING A PLACE.
BUT, IN MY VIEW,
THE MOST INTERESTING
ECOLOGY IS WHAT IS
MORE OR LESS
IN YOUR BACKYARD.

Bruce drives a boat.

The Narrator says DR. BRUCE HATCHER
HAS SPENT DECADES STUDYING
THE BRAS D'OR LAKE
IN THE MIDDLE OF
CAPE BRETON ISLAND.
HE WAS PART OF THE TEAM
WHO CAME TOGETHER
TO ENSURE THE DESIGNATION
OF THE BRAS D'OR WATERSHED
AS A UNESCO BIOSPHERE
RESERVE IN 2011.

An animated map of Cape Breton and Nova Scotia appears. A green area in Cape Breton reads "Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve."

The Narrator says FOR BRUCE, THE BRAS D'OR
IS AN AMAZINGLY DIVERSE
ECOLOGICAL LABORATORY.

Two people dive in a lake.

Bruce says THE BRAS D'OR
IS A COMPLEX ESTUARY.
IT LOOKS LIKE A LAKE,
IT FEELS LIKE A LAKE,
UNTIL YOU TASTE IT,
OR FLOAT IN IT,
AND FIND THAT
YOU'RE MORE BUOYANT
THAN YOU'D BE IF YOU WERE
IN A FRESH WATER LAKE.
BUT THE BIG DIFFERENCE,
AND WHAT MAKES IT AN ESTUARY,
IS THAT IT IS CONNECTED
TO THE OCEAN.
AND IF YOU
LOOK HARD ENOUGH,
YOU CAN FIND JUST ABOUT
EVERY KIND OF
HABITAT,
OR MICROHABITAT,
THAT YOU CAN FIND
ANYWHERE FROM
THE ARCTIC
TO ABOUT
NORTH CAROLINA.
FOR EXAMPLE,
IF I WANT TO FIND
A GREAT DEPTH OF WATER,
I CAN GO INTO
THE ST. ANDREW'S CHANNEL
AND HAVE 280 METERS
DEPTH OF WATER.
ON THE OTHER HAND,
YESTERDAY I WAS
WORKING ON A PROJECT
IN A BARACHOIS POND...
A LAKE WITHIN THE LAKE,
IF YOU WISH...
AND THE DEEPEST PART
WAS FOUR METERS DEEP.
AND I WAS ABLE TO
SNORKEL AROUND THERE
AND MAKE A COUNT OF
THE NUMBER OF
LIVE VERSUS DEAD
OYSTERS IN THE AREA.
SO ONE EXPECTS A
BIOSPHERE RESERVE
TO HAVE A LOT OF
BIODIVERSITY,
AND THIS ONE REALLY
DOES HAVE THAT.
BUT THEY ARE BIOSPHERE RESERVES
WITHIN UNESCO'S "MAN AND
THE BIOSPHERE" PROGRAM.
AND SO HOW DO
PEOPLE IN CAPE BRETON
RELATE TO
THIS REMARKABLE
ECOSYSTEM THAT'S HERE?

Fast clips show endless woods and a quiet village.

The caption changes to "Doctor Albert Marshall. Elder, Eskasoni First Nation." Albert sits in a living room. He is in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding gray hair in a ponytail. He wears a striped green and light blue polo-shirt.

Albert says TO US,
WE DON'T CALL IT
"BRAS D'OR LAKES."
IT'S BEEN CALLED
"PITU'PAQ."
AND THIS BODY OF WATER
IS A VERY UNIQUE SYSTEM,
BECAUSE ORIGINALLY,
THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY
TWENTY-FIVE OR SO
DIFFERENT SPECIES OF FISH
WOULD COME IN HERE TO SPAWN.
AND IT HAS SUSTAINED
OUR PEOPLE
FOR THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

The Narrator says THE BRAS D'OR SUPPORTED
THE MI'KMAQ FOR MILLENNIA,
BUT WITH EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT,
THE REGION'S ECONOMICS SHIFTED
TO AN INDUSTRIAL MODEL
THAT ULTIMATELY PROVED
TO BE UNSUSTAINABLE.

A clip shows a foundry at work.

The caption changes to "Doctor Teresa MacNeil. Past Chair, Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve." Teresa is in her sixties with short white hair. She wears a pale yellow blouse.

Teresa says THE ECONOMY OF CAPE BRETON,
FOR SUCH A LONG TIME...
I'LL JUST MAKE IT EASY
AND SAY A HUNDRED YEARS...
WAS COAL AND STEEL.
COAL, AT ONE TIME,
EMPLOYED
10,000 PEOPLE
IN THE EARLY '60S.
THE STEEL PLANT,
AT ONE TIME IN THE EARLY '60S,
EMPLOYED 5,000 PEOPLE.
THOSE ARE GONE.

The Narrator says OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS,
THE POPULATION OF CAPE BRETON
HAS DECREASED
MORE THAN 20 PERCENT,
A TREND THAT'S EXPECTED
TO CONTINUE.
FOR BRUCE,
THAT'S A PROBLEM,
BECAUSE HE BELIEVES
A SUSTAINABLE ECOSYSTEM
INCLUDES PEOPLE.

Bruce says WE HUMAN BEINGS
HAVE BEEN HERE FOR
A VERY LONG TIME.
WE HAVE AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT
AND PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE,
AS DO ALL THE OTHER ORGANISMS
IN THE BIOSPHERE.

The caption changes to "Doctor Jim Foulds. Chair, Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve." Jim is in his early sixties, with a white beard and receding wavy gray hair. He wears glasses, beige shirt and matching jacket.

Jim says WHEN YOU TAKE A PICTURE
OF THE ENVIRONMENT,
QUITE OFTEN WHAT WE DO,
INHERENTLY,
IS WAIT FOR PEOPLE
TO GET OUT OF THE WAY,
OR WE MOVE PEOPLE
OUT OF THE WAY
TO GET THE PICTURE
WITHOUT ANY HUMANS IN IT.
SO THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING
IS THAT THE BIOSPHERE
RESERVE CONCEPT
PUTS PEOPLE IN
THE ENVIRONMENT.
IT SEES PEOPLE
AS FUNCTIONING ELEMENTS
OF THE ENVIRONMENT,
OR OF THE LOCAL ECOLOGY.

The Narrator says IT'S A SHARED DESIRE
TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THE PICTURE
THAT INSPIRED THE COMMUNITIES
OF THE BRAS D'OR
TO COME TOGETHER TO BECOME
ONE OF CANADA'S NEWEST
UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVES.
THEY ARE HOPING
THE BIOSPHERE DESIGNATION
WILL ENCOURAGE NEW WAYS FOR
PEOPLE TO CONTINUE TO LIVE HERE
THAT ARE MORE SUSTAINABLE THAN
THE INDUSTRIES THAT DEFINED
THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS.

Bruce says SO WHAT ROLE
IS HUMAN DEVELOPMENT,
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,
TO TAKE IN
SUSTAINING THE ECOSYSTEMS
THAT COMPRISE THE BRAS D'OR,
AS WE TRY TO MAKE
THE CAPE BRETON ECONOMY
A VIABLE ECONOMY?

Local people attend church.

The Narrator says ALTHOUGH GIVEN A RECENT BOOST
BY THE DESIGNATION OF THE BRAS
D'OR AS A BIOSPHERE RESERVE,
THE EFFORT TO FIND SUSTAINABLE
ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS HERE
IS NOT NEW.
PERHAPS NOWHERE IS THIS
LONG STRUGGLE FOR
SUSTAINABILITY MORE APPARENT
THAN IN THE BRAS D'OR'S
HISTORY WITH THE OYSTER.
MARINE ECOLOGIST ROBIN STUART
HAS SPENT 40 YEARS HELPING
TO BRING OYSTER FARMING,
OR AQUACULTURE,
TO THE BRAS D'OR.
TODAY HE'S GOING TO VISIT
HIS FRIEND FROM THE WAGMATCOOK
FIRST NATION, JOE GOOGOO,
WHO IS HELPING
SOME WILD OYSTERS
GROWING JUST OUTSIDE
HIS FARM.
A BIG WINTER STORM COULD
WASH THESE RARE SURVIVORS
OF THE MSX PARASITE ASHORE
AND KILL THEM.
SO JOE IS THROWING THESE
OYSTERS INTO DEEPER WATER
TO IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES.

Joe says THAT’S THE ONLY WAY
THEY ARE GOING TO SURVIVE. THEY
NEED OUR HELP RIGHT NOW.

The Narrator says IF THE OYSTERS THAT
JOE AND ROBIN ARE RELOCATING
MAKE IT TO NEXT SUMMER,
THEY WILL SPAWN BY SENDING OUT
MILLIONS OF SPERM AND EGGS...
AND A FEW
FERTILIZED LARVAE
WILL SETTLE ONTO
A HARD SURFACE,
OFTEN OTHER OYSTER SHELLS,
AND BECOME BABY OYSTERS
KNOWN AS "SPAT."
THERE'S A YOUNG OYSTER SET.
SEE THE YOUNG OYSTER IN THERE?

An animation shows the process explained.

The caption changes to "Robin Stuart. Marine Ecologist, Ocean Stuart Consulting." Robin stands by Joe’s boat. He is in his early sixties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears a blue jacket.

Robin says THE OLDEST OYSTERS IN THE WORLD
ARE LOCATED IN THE BRAS LAKES.
130 TO 140 YEARS OLD,
SOME OF THE OYSTERS
THEY'VE FOUND.
SO THAT'S GETTING INTO
THE TORTOISE TERRITORY,
ISN'T IT?
YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET
THE GROWTH OF AN OYSTER
BY LOOKING AT
HIS SHELL LAYERS.
THIS IS AN OLD OYSTER,
PROBABLY SOMEWHERE AROUND
25 TO 30 YEARS OLD.

The Narrator says FOR ROBIN,
ONE OF THE COOLEST
THINGS ABOUT OYSTERS
IS THEIR RESILIENCE.

Robin says THEY'RE VERY TOUGH ANIMALS,
PROBABLY ONE OF THE TOUGHEST
ANIMALS ON THE PLANET.
THEY'RE ONE OF THE ONLY ANIMALS
THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY,
LITERALLY FREEZE SOLID.
AND AS LONG AS YOU DON'T
TOUCH THEM WHEN THEY START
THAWING OUT IN THE SPRING,
THE HEART WILL START PUMPING
AGAIN AND THEY CARRY ON.
THERE'S NOT MANY ANIMALS
CAN DO THAT.

The Narrator says THESE HARDY CREATURES
ARE KNOWN AS ECOSYSTEM
ENGINEERS,
BECAUSE THEY DIRECTLY BENEFIT
THE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS
THEY LIVE IN.

The caption changes to "Rod Beresford. Assistant Professor, Integrative Science, Cape Breton University." Rod is in his forties, with receding hair and clean-shaven. He wears a blue shirt with printed red letters.

Rod stands by a lake holding an oyster.

Rod says ONE OF THE REASONS OYSTERS ARE
SO GREAT FOR THE ECOSYSTEM,
THE ENVIRONMENT,
IS SOMETHING LIKE THIS,
A LITTLE ANIMAL THIS BIG,
CAN FILTER UP TO
TWO GALLONS OF WATER AN HOUR.

(music plays)

The caption changes to "Allison McIsaac. Senior Biologist, Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission." Allison sits in a laboratory. She is in her mid-thirties with red hair tied-up and bangs. She wears glasses, black jacket and gray shirt.

Allison says SO, IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH
OYSTERS IN A WATER BODY,
PRESUMABLY YOU CAN GET INTO
THAT WATER BEING CLEANSED,
OR FILTERED, Y'KNOW,
EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS,
EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS.
THEY CREATE HABITATS.
SO AN OYSTER ON THE BOTTOM
CREATES A HABITAT
FOR OTHER ANIMALS...
WORMS,
SMALL FISH,
SMALL CRABS.
THERE CAN BE
A COUPLE HUNDRED OTHER SPECIES
ASSOCIATED WITH AN OYSTER BED.

The Narrator says THE SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
THAT JOE GOOGOO FEELS FOR
THE OYSTER HERE IS NOT NEW.
THE MI'KMAQ LIVING
AROUND THE BRAS D'OR
HAVE AN ANCIENT RELATIONSHIP
WITH THIS DURABLE
FILTER FEEDER.

The caption changes to "Thomas Johnson. Executive Director, Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission." Thomas is in his forties, clean-shaven with combed hair. He wears a green polo-shirt.

Thomas says WE WERE HUNTER-GATHERERS
AT ONE TIME AGO,
AND A LOT OF
OUR PEOPLE WOULD
WALK ALONG THE SHORELINES
AND GATHER THESE OYSTERS.
AND THEY MAKE A VERY GOOD LUNCH,
IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF THEM.
AND, ONE TIME AGO,
OUR PEOPLE USED TO
GATHER THEM UP
IN OYSTER MOUNDS,
AND THEY WOULD MAKE
BEADS OUT OF THEM.
AND FROM THESE BEADS,
THEY WOULD CREATE
WAMPUM BELTS,
WHICH TOLD
STORIES OF OUR HISTORY.
SO THE OYSTER HAS BEEN
VERY IMPORTANT TO
THE WHOLE NATION.

The Narrator says TO ENSURE
THE CONTINUED ABUNDANCE
OF OYSTER AND OTHER SPECIES,
THE USE OF RESOURCES
IN MI'KMAQ TERRITORY
WAS MANAGED BY
THE GRAND COUNCIL,
WHICH MET,
HISTORICALLY,
AT A SPECIAL PLACE
ON THE BRAS D'OR
KNOWN AS
"MALAGAWATCH."

Albert says ONCE A YEAR,
OUR LEADERS WILL
COME TOGETHER,
AND EVERYBODY WILL TALK ABOUT
HOW MUCH YOU HAVE HARVESTED,
HOW MANY BIRTHS YOU HAD
IN YOUR GROUP...
AND THEN THEY
WILL DETERMINE
IF THE AREA THAT YOU
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO...
MAYBE YOU ARE AT THE VERGE
OF OVER-HARVESTING.
SO THEN THEY
WOULD BE TOLD,
"YOU'VE GOT TO LEAVE
THAT AREA ALONE
FOR X NUMBER OF YEARS
TO ALLOW IT TO
REPLENISH ITSELF."

The Narrator says THE AREAS ASSIGNED
BY THE GRAND COUNCIL
WERE CHOSEN TO HAVE
ENOUGH RESOURCES,
OR "GIFTS,"
TO SUPPORT A FAMILY.

Thomas says EACH FAMILY REQUIRED
ABOUT 25 SQUARE MILES
TO SUSTAIN THEMSELVES.

Albert says THAT PROVIDED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
PEOPLE IN THAT AREA
TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP
TO THE ENVIRONMENT
IN WHICH THEY ARE LIVING.
BECAUSE, UNLESS YOU KNOW
YOUR AREA INTIMATELY,
THEN IT'S VERY,
VERY DIFFICULT
FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO UTILIZE
THE GIFTS OF THE CREATOR,
BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GONNA
HAVE ANY KINSHIP TO IT.

A series of paintings show first nation members sitting by a bonfire and in their daily fishing activities.

The Narrator says HAVING A CLOSE
RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR REGIONS
HELPED MI'KMAQ FAMILIES
DEVELOP A SENSE OF
RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE PLANTS
AND ANIMALS IN THEM.
TO ASSIST FAMILIES WITH
THE EVERYDAY MANAGEMENT
OF THESE RESOURCES,
MI'KMAQ CULTURE HAS CONCEPTS
AND REGULATIONS TO GUIDE THEM.

Albert says IN OUR LANGUAGE,
WE USE WORDS LIKE
"NETUKULIMK."
WITH THAT WORD,
YOU HAVE A PRIVILEGE
OF UTILIZING
THE GIFTS FROM THE CREATOR,
BUT IT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU
TO OVER-EXPLOIT.

The caption changes to "Charlie Dennis. Co-Founder, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resourcers." Charlie is in his mid-sixties, with white hair and clean-shaven. He wears a blue jacket over a matching shirt.

Charlie says JUST ABOUT EVERY SPECIES
THAT YOU THINK ABOUT,
WHETHER IT IS OYSTERS,
EEL, SALMON,
NETUKULIMK WAS USED.
FOR EXAMPLE,
SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT
YOU DON'T HARVEST OYSTERS
IN MONTHS WITH A 'J' IN IT,
JUNE AND JULY,
'CAUSE THAT'S WHEN
THEY'RE BEARING YOUNG.

The Narrator says BY ALL ACCOUNTS,
THE MI'KMAQ'S RESOURCE
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
HELPED TO ENSURE AN ABUNDANCE
OF OYSTER IN THE BRAS D'OR
FOR A VERY LONG TIME.
AS EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT
MADE MONEY
MORE IMPORTANT
TO MI'KMAQ COMMUNITIES,
OYSTERS BECAME A HIGH-VALUE,
EASY TO ACCESS RESOURCE,
AND SO LONG AS YOU
DIDN'T TAKE TOO MANY,
THEY QUICKLY
REPLENISHED THEMSELVES
AFTER THEY WERE HARVESTED.

Old footage shows men harvesting oysters.

Charlie says I'VE HEARD STORIES THAT
THERE WERE SO MANY OYSTERS
THAT PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW
WHAT TO DO WITH THEM.
I REMEMBER MY
ELDERS TELLING ME
THE FIRST MARKET THEY FOUND,
THEY WERE SHIPPING 'EM
BY THE BARRELS
TO MONTREAL VIA TRAIN.

The caption changes to "Flo Young. Elder, Eskasoni First Nation." Flo sits in a garden. She is in her mid-sixties with short gray hair. She wears sunglasses and a white jacket.

Flo says IN THE SUMMERTIME, ON A REALLY
HOT SUMMER DAY THE
CHILDREN AND I, WE USED TO
GO TO JUST DIVING
FOR THE OYSTERS, EH?
AND WE SELL THEM, GOOD
MONEY FOR THEM.
THE BOYS WERE HAPPY.
I STILL LOVE OYSTERS, I GO
OUT MYSELF AND PICK
SOME FOR MY MEAL.

The Narrator says THE MI'KMAQ
WERE NOT THE ONLY ONES
USING THIS ABUNDANT RESOURCE.
THE OYSTER BECAME IMPORTANT
TO MANY PEOPLE ON CAPE BRETON.

A black and white clip shows soldiers marching.

Rod says DURING THE WORLD WARS,
WHEN FOOD WAS RATIONED,
THERE WASN'T A LOT
OF FOOD AROUND.
OYSTERS WERE A GREAT
SOURCE OF FOOD,
AND A GREAT SOURCE
OF INCOME FOR PEOPLE.
SO, IF YOU LOOK AT
OYSTER LANDINGS
OVER THE LAST
CENTURY OR SO,
THERE'S THESE REALLY NEAT
SPIKES DURING THE WORLD WAR
BECAUSE IT PROVIDED
BOTH SUSTENANCE
AND AN INCOME FOR PEOPLE
WHEN THEY NEEDED IT.

Joe says I STARTED WHEN
IS WAS 10 YEARS OLD.
I USED TO HELP MY FATHER
AFTER SCHOOL.
WHEN I WAS 16, I WENT
INTO FULL-TIME FISHING.
BUT MY GOD, ANYWHERE YOU
GO YOU’D GET 20
TO 30 BOXES WITHIN
A COUPLE HOURS.
ANYWHERE YOU
GO YOU’D GO THERE
WERE A LOT OF OYSTERS.

The Narrator says BY THE 1950S,
THE HARVESTING
OF WILD OYSTERS
WAS A PROFITABLE COTTAGE
INDUSTRY ON CAPE BRETON.
BUT SOME PEOPLE
BEGAN TO WONDER...
IF THE BRAS D'OR WAS SO GREAT
AT GROWING OYSTERS NATURALLY,
MAYBE OYSTER FARMING
COULD WORK HERE AS WELL.
IN 1965,
THE DOMINION STEEL
AND COAL COMPANY
ANNOUNCED THAT THE COAL MINES,
THE LARGEST SOURCE OF
EMPLOYMENT ON CAPE BRETON,
WOULD BE CLOSING.
THE RACE WAS ON TO PROVIDE
ALTERNATIVE SOURCES
OF EMPLOYMENT
FOR CAPE BRETON COMMUNITIES.
IT WAS IN THIS ENVIRONMENT
THAT THE MI'KMAQ AT
THE ESKASONI FIRST NATION
STARTED TO WORK WITH
TO DEVELOP OYSTER FARMING
IN THE BRAS D'OR.

Charlie says PEOPLE WEREN'T QUITE SURE
IF THEY CAN FARM OYSTERS,
BUT THEY HEARD
THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
THAT PEOPLE ARE DOIN' IT.
FURTHER RESEARCH FOUND OUT
APPARENTLY THE JAPANESE
WERE WELL AHEAD OF THE GAME.
THEY'D BEEN DOIN' IT
FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.
SO THE QUESTION WAS
CAN IT BE DONE IN
THE BRAS D'OR LAKES?
THE FIRST YEAR,
SOMEBODY TOLD THEM TO
COLLECT WILD OYSTER SEED,
USE SCALLOP SHELLS.
SO, WHEN THEY PUT THE COLLECTORS
OUT, LORD AND BEHOLD,
WHEN THEY LOOKED AT THE BOTTOM
PART OF THE SCALLOP SHELL,
THERE WAS THOUSANDS
OF SEED ON THERE.
SO OF COURSE,
SOMEBODY USING
A CALCULATOR...
IF YOU GOT A THOUSAND SEED
ON A SCALLOP SHELL,
AND IF YOU PUT 10,000
SCALLOP SHELLS OUT THERE...
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.
SO OF COURSE THE MEDIA
GOT A HOLD OF IT.
THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW,
(CHUCKLE) IT WAS A HOT TOPIC.
AT THAT TIME,
THEY WERE CALLED "MICMACS."
"THE MICMACS ARE
GROWIN' OYSTERS!"

A close-up shows a headline that reads "Eskasoni project to revolutionize oyster industry."

The Narrator says THE MI'KMAQ'S EARLY SUCCESS
HELPED PROMPT DEVCO,
THE FEDERAL AGENCY
CHARGED WITH DIVERSIFYING
THE CAPE BRETON ECONOMY,
TO INVEST MILLIONS
IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF OYSTER AQUACULTURE
IN THE BRAS D'OR.
MARINE ECOLOGIST ROBIN STUART,
THEN IN HIS EARLY '20S,
BECAME THE ASSISTANT MANAGER
OF THE CAPE BRETON
MARINE FARM.

Robin says THE SCALE PROBABLY
DWARVES ANYTHING THAT
MOST PEOPLE COULD
EVEN IMAGINE.
WE WERE PUTTING OUT
TWO MILLION
SCALLOP SHELLS
A YEAR AS COLLECTORS.
WE HAD OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE
MAKING THE RAFTS,
CUTTING THE SHELL STRINGS.
THEN WE HAD A LARGE
TECHNICAL GROUP.
IT INVOLVED UNIVERSITY
STUDENTS AND SCIENTISTS
THAT WERE DOING
HYDROGRAPHIC MONITORING,
SCIENTIFIC MONITORING.
THERE WAS MORE ACTIVITY
HAPPENING HERE
ON CAPE BRETON ISLAND THAN
ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD,
IN TERMS OF STIMULATING
AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT
AND AQUACULTURE TECHNOLOGY.

Fast clips show the local oyster industry and monitoring.

The Narrator says THE CONCEPT OF
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
WOULDN'T BE COINED
FOR ANOTHER 15 YEARS.
BUT IN THE EARLY '70S,
THE PEOPLE OF CAPE BRETON CAME
TOGETHER IN A TREMENDOUS EFFORT
TO CREATE A BRAND NEW,
POTENTIALLY VERY
PROFITABLE INDUSTRY,
THAT, IF IT WORKED,
WOULD BE GOOD FOR BOTH
BUT AT THE ESKASONI
OYSTER FARM,
THERE WAS A PROBLEM.
THE MI'KMAQ WERE GROWING
OYSTERS ON SCALLOP SHELLS
LIKE THE JAPANESE.
IN JAPAN,
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT
THE OYSTERS LOOK LIKE
BECAUSE THEY BOTTLE
AND CAN THEM.
BUT HERE IN NORTH AMERICA,
MOST OYSTERS GO TO THE WHITE
TABLECLOTH MARKET,
WHERE THEY NEED TO BE
THE PERFECT SIZE AND SHAPE.

Charlie says WHEN THE TIME CAME,
THE OYSTERS, IN THREE YEARS,
THEY WERE READY FOR MARKET.
AND I DON'T KNOW
HOW MANY BOXES OF OYSTERS WENT.
A THOUSAND BOXES
WENT TO THE MARKET.
IN A WEEK OR SO,
WE GOT SO MANY COMPLAINTS
THAT THE OYSTERS
WEREN'T THE BEST QUALITY.
SO INDIAN AFFAIRS REFUSED TO
FUND THE PROJECT ANYMORE.

The Narrator says WHEN THE BRAS D'OR
AQUACULTURE EXPERIMENTS
IN THE 1970S
DIDN'T QUICKLY
RETURN A PROFIT,
THE GOVERNMENT CANCELLED
THE MASSIVE PROJECTS.
BUT CHARLIE DENNIS
ALWAYS HELD OUT HOPE
THAT OYSTER FARMING
MIGHT SOMEDAY PROVIDE
SUSTAINABLE INCOMES
FOR THE MI'KMAQ.

A pile of oyster shells sits by a lake.

Charlie says I ALWAYS FIGURED,
MYSELF PERSONALLY,
THAT ONE OF THESE DAYS
I'LL GET BACK INTO IT,
AND WE'LL LOOK AT IT,
AND SEE WHERE WE WENT WRONG.
AND BACK IN THE '90S,
THERE WAS MONEY
AVAILABLE TO THE BAND.
BASICALLY, WE HAD BIOLOGISTS
AND YOUNG TECHNICIANS,
AND WE TOLD THEM, "LOOK,
"WE KNOW WE DID SOMETHING
WRONG BACK IN THE '70S.
"WE WANT YOU GUYS
TO LOOK AT IT
AND SEE IF YOU
CAN IMPROVE IT."

Allison says SO MOST OF OUR WORK
WAS LOOKING AT
DIFFERENT WAYS TO
COLLECT THE OYSTER,
AND THEN WE DEVELOPED
THE TRAY SYSTEM
THAT WE USE NOW.
IT'S SUSPENDED,
AND PROVIDES
OYSTERS WITH
MORE FOOD,
MORE CONSISTENTLY,
AND THEY GROW FASTER.
BY THE TIME WE GOT TO 1998,
WE WERE BUILDING
A OYSTER PROCESSING PLANT
HERE IN ESKASONI,
AND WE HAD
A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND
OYSTERS READY FOR MARKET.

Charlie says MY GOD,
THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL OYSTERS.
THEY WERE THREE-INCH,
PERFECT OYSTERS.
EVERYBODY WANTED THEM
'CAUSE THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL.

Allison says THAT'S THE POINT WHERE MSX
WAS CONFIRMED IN THE LAKE AND WE
STARTED LOSING OUR OYSTERS.
WE LOST PROBABLY 70 PERCENT
THE FIRST YEAR,
AND THEN UP TO 90 PERCENT
BY THE TIME THE FIRST
MORTALITY EVENT HAPPENED.

Charlie says RIGHT AFTER
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF MSX,
MY WIFE AND I,
WE WERE SITTIN' IN
THE BACK OF THE RESTAURANT,
VIEWING THE CAUSEWAY
WHERE THE STRAIT IS.
SEAGULLS WERE TAKING
THE OYSTERS FROM THE POND,
AND LIFTIN' THEM ON THE PAVEMENT
AND DROPPIN' THEM.
WHEN THEY BROKE,
THEY FED ON THE MEAT.
AND WHEN I SAW THAT,
I TOLD MY WIFE,
"EVEN THE SEAGULLS
ARE MAKING FUN OF ME."
He chuckles and says IT WAS DEVASTATING.

Rod says SO MSX IS
A MICROSCOPIC PARASITE.
THE PARASITE IS COMPLETELY
HARMLESS TO PEOPLE.
BUT EVENTUALLY
WHAT HAPPENS IS
IT INFILTRATES
THE DIGESTIVE TUBULES,
WHICH THE OYSTER NEEDS TO
DIGEST ITS OWN FOOD,
ABSORB NUTRIENTS.
AND AS THAT TISSUE BREAKS DOWN,
THE OYSTER THEN ISN'T ABLE
TO FEED ANYMORE.

An animation shows purple particles in a white background. A white area highlights a reddish circle that reads "MSX."

Rod continues SO, IN ESSENCE,
IT STARVES TO DEATH.

The Narrator says HOW MSX FOUND ITS WAY
INTO THE BRAS D'OR IS UNCLEAR.
THE PARASITE IS
NATIVE TO JAPAN,
WHERE THE OYSTERS THERE
HAVE LEARNED TO LIVE WITH IT.
IT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE
COME TO NORTH AMERICA
AFTER WORLD WAR II,
IN JAPANESE OYSTERS STUCK TO
THE HULLS OF AMERICAN WARSHIPS.
IN THE 1950S,
MSX APPEARED IN
DEVASTATING THAT REGION'S
OYSTER INDUSTRY.
AND IN 2002,
IT WAS CONFIRMED
IN THE BRAS D'OR
ON CAPE BRETON ISLAND.

Rod says I DON'T THINK
ANYONE REALLY KNOWS
HOW MSX CAME TO
THE BRAS D'OR.
I REALLY DON'T KNOW
IF WE'LL EVER REALLY KNOW.
SOME PEOPLE FEEL THAT IT
CAME IN ON BALLAST WATER.
BUT IT COULD'VE JUST
COME IN ON A PLEASURE BOAT.
I THINK IT'S REALLY UNFAIR
TO SAY THAT MSX CAME INTO
THE BRAS D'OR "THIS WAY,"
WITHOUT ANY KIND OF
EVIDENCE AT ALL.
ABOUT 80 PERCENT
OF THE OYSTERS
IN NOVA SCOTIA'S
OYSTER INDUSTRY
USED TO COME FROM
THE BRAS D'OR LAKES.
WITH THE SHUTDOWN OF
THE BRAS D'OR LAKES,
80 PERCENT OF NOVA SCOTIA'S
OYSTER PRODUCTION AND SALES
CAME TO AN ABRUPT HALT.

The Narrator says TODAY THE OYSTER
NUMBERS IN THE BRAS D'OR
IN RECORDED HISTORY.
WHILE MSX IS A BIG REASON
FOR THEIR DECLINE,
ROBIN STUART BELIEVES
THERE MAY HAVE BEEN OTHER
AGGRAVATING FACTORS.

Robin kayaks in a lake and throws a fishing net.

Robin says I WAS HIRED BY
ESKASONI FISH AND
WILDLIFE IN 2001
BEFORE THE MSX SITUATION,
TO DO OYSTER STOCK ASSESSMENTS
IN A NUMBER OF AREAS.
IT WAS LIKE
THE WILD WEST HERE
IN 1999, 2000, 2001.
ALL THE COAL MINERS
WERE LAID OFF
WHEN THE COALMINES
WERE CLOSED.
WELL, GUESS WHERE
THEY CAN GET QUICK MONEY.
DFO HANDED OUT......300-PLUS
NEW OYSTER FISHING LICENSES
TO PEOPLE THAT KNEW
NOTHING ABOUT OYSTERS.
TO THEM,
IT WAS JUST CURRENCY.
I WAS FINDING PILES OF OYSTERS
AN INCH, INCH AND A HALF LONG,
WHERE PEOPLE HAD
FISHED THESE THINGS,
AND BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T
WORTH ANYTHING TO THEM,
THEY DIDN'T PUT THEM
BACK IN THE WATER.
THEY JUST LEFT THEM
TO DIE IN THE WOODS.
THEY ABSOLUTELY,
TOTALLY DEPLETED SOME BEDS,
TO THE POINT WHERE IT WOULD BE
YEARS AND YEARS BEFORE
THEY'D EVER RECOVER.
SO THERE WAS
A HUGE ISSUE
OF OVER-FISHING,
AND ILLEGAL FISHING,
AND POOR POLICING
BEFORE MSX.

The Narrator says ENCOUNTERED ALONG THE WAY,
THIS REGION'S LONG STRUGGLE
TO CREATE AN OYSTER INDUSTRY
PROVES HOW DETERMINED
THE PEOPLE HERE ARE
TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE
ECONOMIC ALTERNATIVES.
BUT OYSTERS AREN'T
THE ONLY SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
THAT THIS REGION HAS BEEN
FOSTERING FOR A LONG TIME.
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OPENING
THEIR DOORS TO VISITORS
COMING TO EXPERIENCE
THE BEAUTY OF THE BRAS D'OR
SINCE THE 1870S,
AND THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
HAS BEEN GROWING EVER SINCE.

Fast clips show a sailing regatta, people trekking and a ship mooring.

The Narrator says PERHAPS NOWHERE
IS THE TRANSITION
FROM THE REGION'S INDUSTRIAL
PAST TOWARDS TOURISM
MORE POIGNANT THAN AT
A LITTLE PLACE WITH A BIG STORY
CALLED MARBLE MOUNTAIN.

The caption changes to "Don Pillar. Historian, Marble Mountain." Don is in his sixties, clean-shaven with receding white hair. He wears glasses and a blue zip jacket.

Don says TO PRODUCE STEEL, YOU NEED,
ESSENTIALLY, THREE THINGS.
YOU NEED IRON ORE, LIMESTONE,
AND THEN THE COAL,
WHICH THEY TURN INTO COKE.
THE COAL WAS READILY
AVAILABLE IN SYDNEY...
THE IRON ORE WAS FOUND
IN NEWFOUNDLAND...
AND THE LIMESTONE WAS
HERE IN MARBLE MOUNTAIN.
MARBLE MOUNTAIN,
AT THAT TIME,
WAS THE FORT MCMURRAY
OF ITS DAY.
PEOPLE WERE COMING
TO MARBLE MOUNTAIN,
AND THEY CAME FROM ALL OVER.
SIX OR SEVEN HUNDRED MEN
WORKED IN THE QUARRY.
COUPLE OF THOUSAND PEOPLE
RESIDED IN MARBLE MOUNTAIN.
IN 1913,
450,000 TONS
OF LIMESTONE
WERE SENT TO SYDNEY.
MY GRANDPARENTS,
THEY MOVED HERE FROM
GLACE BAY IN 1917.
THEY BOUGHT A FARM
AND MY GRANDFATHER
WORKED IN THE QUARRY.
HE WAS THE DRILLER
AND SHOT BLASTER.
AND SUDDENLY,
ON APRIL THE 1ST, 1921...
APRIL FOOL'S DAY,
BUT IT WAS NO JOKE.
IT WAS ALL OVER.

The Narrator says THE DOMINION
IRON AND STEEL COMPANY
HAD FOUND A MORE
ACCESSIBLE SOURCE
OF LIMESTONE
IN NEWFOUNDLAND,
IRON ORE FROM ALREADY.
THE COMPANY WASTED
NO TIME IN SHUTTING DOWN
ITS MARBLE MOUNTAIN
OPERATIONS.

Don says LEGENDS HAVE IT THAT SOME PEOPLE
SIMPLY HAD THEIR LAST MEAL,
PUT THE DISHES IN THE SINK,
AND WALKED AWAY.
YOU COULD PURCHASE A HOUSE
FOR FIVE DOLLARS.
IT WAS LIKE A GHOST TOWN,
UNFORTUNATELY.
BUT MY OWN FAMILY,
THEY WERE STUCK.
THEIR LIFE SAVINGS WERE
INVESTED IN HILLBROOK FARM,
AND THEY HAD NO CHOICE
BUT TO STAY
AND STRUGGLE THROUGH
THE TIMES THAT FOLLOWED.
AND THEY WERE TOUGH TIMES.
AND SO THINGS WENT IN
A DIFFERENT DIRECTION
BECAUSE OF THE QUARRY
HAVING CLOSED,
AND THEY OPENED UP A...
BASICALLY A BED AND BREAKFAST.
AND FROM THAT PLACE,
MANY OF THE RESIDENTS THAT
RESIDE HERE AT
MARBLE MOUNTAIN TODAY
WERE INTRODUCED TO
MARBLE MOUNTAIN.
NATURE HAS COVERED UP
A LOT OF THE SCARS,
AND IT LOOKS...
LESS IMPOSING
AND LESS PAINFUL
THAN IT WAS ORIGINALLY.

A series of black and white pictures of Don’s family appears.

The caption changes to "Bill Legge. Community Advocate, Marble Mountain." Bill is in his sixties, with receding hair and clean-shaven. He wears a blue jacket over a striped polo-shirt.

Bill says A LOT OF THE FINES,
THEY CALLED THEM,
OR THE GROUND-UP
LIMESTONE,
FOUND ITS WAY
TO THE SHORELINES,
AND OVER TIME CREATED
SOME OF THE NICEST BEACHES
IN THE PROVINCE.
AND I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE
SOMETHING UNIQUE HERE.
AND I GUESS WE FEEL
WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY
TO SHARE IT WITH PEOPLE.
THERE'S NO SENSE, Y'KNOW,
KEEPING IT FOR YOURSELF.

The Narrator says PEOPLE HERE HAVE
ALWAYS BEEN GOOD AT
ATTRACTING TOURISTS TO SHARE IN
THE BEAUTY OF THE BRAS D'OR.
IN 1874,
THE COMMUNITY OF
BADDECK WELCOMED
A WELL-KNOWN TRAVEL WRITER
FROM NEW YORK,
CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER.
WARNER'S WIDELY-READ
TRAVEL LOG,
"BADDECK AND
THAT SORT OF THING,"
BROUGHT A LOT OF PEOPLE
TO BRAS D'OR'S SHORES...
INCLUDING ONE OF THE WORLD'S
MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE,
THE INVENTOR OF THE TELEPHONE,
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL.

A black and white photograph of Alexander Graham Bell appears. He has a long beard and wears a jacket.

The caption changes to "Madeline Harvey. National Historic Site and Visitor Experience Manager, Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site." Madeline is in her late fifties with short blond hair and bangs. She wears a dark blue short sleeve shirt.

Madeline says I WANT YOU TO
THINK ABOUT A YOUNG MAN
WHO'S ALREADY INVENTED
THE TELEPHONE.
HE'S MARRIED,
HE HAS TWO LITTLE DAUGHTERS,
AND IN WASHINGTON, THERE WERE
A LOT OF DEMANDS ON HIS TIME.
HE WAS A VERY
FAMOUS YOUNG MAN,
AND SO THERE WERE
ALWAYS PEOPLE
WANTING HIM
TO DO THINGS.
SO ALEXANDER READ
A LITTLE TRAVELOGUE CALLED
"BADDECK AND
THAT SORT OF THING."
AND IN THAT TRAVELOGUE,
MR. WARNER DESCRIBED
THE VILLAGE OF BADDECK
AS A SLEEPY LITTLE VILLAGE
WHERE EVERY DAY WAS
LIKE A SUNDAY.
SO THIS THOUGHT
VERY MUCH APPEALED TO
ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL.
SO IN 1885,
BELL AND HIS FAMILY
WERE ON VACATION
AND THEY CAME
IN HERE TO BADDECK.
ALEXANDER IMMEDIATELY
FELT COMFORTABLE HERE.
SO, OVER THE NEXT
NUMBER OF YEARS,
HE AND MABEL HAD
THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE
A PENINSULA OF LAND THAT JUTS
OUT INTO THE BRAS D'OR LAKE,
AND THEY NAMED IT
"BEINN BHREAGH."
AND THIS WOULD BE THEIR REFUGE
FOR THE NEXT 37 YEARS.

The Narrator says IN THE BRAS D'OR,
ALEXANDER FOUND A QUIET SPACE
WHERE HE COULD THINK
ABOUT HIS IDEAS,
AND A NEARBY COMMUNITY
HE COULD LOOK TO FOR HELP
WHEN HE NEEDED IT.
HE SPENT A LOT OF TIME
EXPERIMENTING WITH BOATS,
KITES,
AND AIRPLANES.
PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS
THING BELL DID HERE
WAS IN 1909,
WHEN HE USED
THE FROZEN LAKE AS A RUNWAY
FOR THE FLIGHT
OF THE SILVER DART,
THE FIRST POWERED
FLIGHT IN CANADA.
BUT BELL ALSO DID WORK HERE
FOR WHICH HE'S LESS KNOWN.
IN THE EARLY 1900S,
A FEW SCIENTISTS
BEGAN HYPOTHESIZING
THAT BURNING FOSSIL FUELS
COULD LEAD TO WHAT THEY CALLED
A "GREENHOUSE EFFECT."
BELL BECAME INTERESTED
IN THIS IDEA
AND EXPERIMENTED
WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY
AT BEINN BHREAGH.

Black and white clips show Bell’s primitive planes flying.

Madeline says SO WE KNOW FROM HIS NOTES,
AND RESEARCHING
THROUGH HIS NOTES,
THAT HE WAS VERY CONCERNED
ABOUT HIS ENVIRONMENT,
AND HE PARTICULARLY
WORRIED ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE
FORMS OF ENERGY.
HE KNEW THAT FOSSIL FUELS
HAD THEIR LIMITS,
AND HE ALSO KNEW THAT
BY BURNING FOSSIL FUELS,
WE WOULD CREATE THIS SORT OF
GREENHOUSE EFFECT,
OR THIS HOT-HOUSE EFFECT.
SO HE EXPERIMENTED
WITH USING...
FOR EXAMPLE, HE USED
WATER POWER IN HIS LABS,
AND HE USED SOLAR POWER
FOR DISTILLING WATER.

The Narrator says GOING HAND-IN-HAND WITH
HIS FEELINGS ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
CAME A DESIRE BY ALEXANDER
TO PRESERVE WHAT HE HAD FOUND
IN THE BRAS D'OR.

The caption changes to "Grosvenor Blair. Descendant of Alexander Graham Bell." Grosvenor is in his mid-sixties, with curly white hair and clean-shaven. He wears a burgundy sweater.

Grosvenor says I CAN'T SAY THAT
HE WAS A LEADING
CONSERVATIONIST
BECAUSE, REMEMBER,
A HUNDRED YEARS AGO
THERE WEREN'T
ANY "LEADING
CONSERVATIONISTS,"
WITH VERY, VERY,
FEW EXCEPTIONS.
BUT OF COURSE HE WAS VERY MUCH
AWARE OF THE BRAS D'OR...
WHAT WAS GOING ON
IN THE BRAS D'OR,
THE BEAUTY OF THE BRAS D'OR,
PRESERVING THE BRAS D'OR...

The Narrator says ALEXANDER WAS BURIED
OVERLOOKING HIS FAVOURITE
SPOT AT THE BEINN BHREAGH
IN 1922.
SOME 80 YEARS LATER,
IN THE EARLY 2000S,
ALEXANDER'S GREAT GRANDSON,
GROSVENOR BLAIR,
WAS ONE OF THE FIRST
PEOPLE TO ADVOCATE FOR
THE BRAS D'OR BECOMING
A BIOSPHERE RESERVE.

Grosvenor says THE FIRST CONSERVATION EASEMENT
IN NOVA SCOTIA,
INDEED, ONE OF THE FIRST FEW
IN EASTERN CANADA,
PROTECTED
BELL'S HOUSE AT BADDECK
AND THE LAND AROUND IT.
WE WERE VERY PROUD OF THAT.
BUT WHAT ABOUT
THE BRAS D'OR AS A WHOLE?
AND IT SEEMED TO ME
THAT THE BRAS D'OR LAKES
WOULD FIT IDEALLY
INTO THE UN'S
BIOSPHERE PROGRAM.
THEN I REALIZED
THAT WE HAD TO GET
THE COMMUNITIES AROUND THE LAKE
INVOLVED IN OUR EFFORT.

Theresa says WE HAD TO SPEND
QUITE A LOT OF TIME SAYING,
"THIS IS NOT ABOUT
STOPPING PEOPLE
TO DO WHAT THEY DO."
IT IS RATHER ABOUT
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT
WHAT A WONDERFUL
PLACE WE HAVE,
AND WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT,
AND WHAT HAS TO BE
MADE BETTER ABOUT IT.

Jim says IT'S A HARD THING
TO DESCRIBE,
BUT IT'S ALMOST,
I WOULD JOKINGLY SAY,
GENETIC,
FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE BORN HERE
TO HAVE SORT OF A SUBCONSCIOUS,
UNCONSCIOUS RESPECT FOR,
AND STEWARDSHIP OF,
THE LAKE.

The Narrator says D'OR CARED ABOUT THE LAKE,
BUT THEY ALSO CARED
A GREAT DEAL
ABOUT THEIR DISTINCTIVE
HISTORY AND CULTURE,
WHICH WAS ANOTHER REASON WHY
THE BRAS D'OR WAS A PERFECT FIT
TO BECOME A BIOSPHERE RESERVE.
IN A BIOSPHERE RESERVE,
ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE
ARE INSEPARABLE.

Fast clips show the residential area around the lake.

Jim says SUSTAINABILITY
IN A BIOSPHERE RESERVE
ALSO INCLUDES
THE PRESERVATION OF A CULTURE.
THERE AREN'T ANY SMALL BOATS
IN THE HARBOUR NO MORE
WE DON'T HAVE A CULTURE
APART FROM THE ENVIRONMENT.
THAT CULTURE IS LIVING
IN THAT ENVIRONMENT.
IT'S AFFECTING
THAT ENVIRONMENT.
THE ENVIRONMENT'S
AFFECTING IT.

At a church, Buddy sings ...IN THE MIST
AND THE RAIN
THEY NEVER WILL REAP
A SEA HARVEST AGAIN

The caption changes to "Buddy MacDonald. Musician." Buddy is in his late fifties, with a goatee and receding hair. He wears blue jeans, a dark blue jacket over a matching shirt.

Buddy says MY DAD WAS A LOBSTER
FISHERMAN ALL HIS LIFE.
BUT I GREW UP
IN A VERY MUSICAL,
CULTURALLY-RICH
HOUSEHOLD AND COMMUNITY.

Buddy sings ...WHEN I WAS BUT TEN

Then, Buddy says AND I SUPPOSE
I WAS LIKE A VERY...
A YOUNG TEENAGER WHEN
I STARTED PLAYIN'.
AND I SUPPOSE IT'S
LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
WHEN YOU GOT
THAT FIRST PAYING GIG,
YOU REALIZE THAT THERE IS
A POSSIBILITY OF DOING THIS.
BUT I'VE PROBABLY
BEEN DOIN' THIS
35 YEARS STEADY.

Buddy sings THERE AIN'T NOBODY
HOME NO MORE
THERE AIN'T
NOBODY HOME...
BE NO REST 'TIL
THEY HIT THE WEST
THERE'S NOBODY
HOME NO MORE
TRY IT...

Buddy says I WRITE ABOUT PEOPLE LEAVING
BECAUSE IT WAS PRETTY WELL
WHAT I GREW UP WITH.
IN MY DAD'S GENERATION,
PEOPLE LEFT AND THEY
WENT SOUTH OF THE BORDER,
AND THEY WORKED IN
THE BOSTON AREA...
AND THE NEXT GENERATION
SORT OF WENT TO CENTRAL CANADA,
AND ONTARIO,
AND NOW PEOPLE ARE DOING
THE WESTERN SWING, Y'KNOW,
TO THE OIL FIELDS.

Buddy sings NO TRACKS IN THE DUST
BY THE OLD FRONT DOOR

Buddy says YOU GET VERY BLIND
TO THE FACT
THAT YOU CAN
SUSTAIN YOURSELF HERE,
WHEN YOU'RE AWAY AND MAKING
ALL KINDS OF MONEY.
I'M A BELIEVER IN THINGS
LIKE CELTIC COLOURS.

Jim says CAPE BRETON,
BEFORE CELTIC COLOURS,
REALLY SHUT DOWN
AFTER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND.
BUT NOW THEY COME TO
LOOK AT THE LEAVES,
AND THEY COME TO
ENJOY THIS FANTASTIC
INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
FOR NINE DAYS.

Buddy sings ...SURVIVAL,
THEY SAY,
IS FINDING
MORE OIL

Jim says THE HOTELS AND
THE B AND B'S ARE FILLED UP,
AND THE ECONOMY
FOR CAPE BRETON
HAS REALLY BEEN
EXTENDED OVER
WHAT IT USED TO BE...

Buddy says SINCE IT BEGAN,
THROUGH PEOPLE
THAT I'VE MET...
PERFORMERS AND
NON-PERFORMERS...
ONCE THEY GET BACK HERE,
THEY'RE REALIZING
THAT THERE IS
AN ALTERNATIVE
TO GOING AWAY.

The Narrator says THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE
COLOURS MUSIC FESTIVAL
WILL STOP IN AT THIS PLACE,
BIG SPRUCE BREWING.
BIG SPRUCE OPENED IN 2013
AFTER THE WHITE FAMILY
MOVED HERE FROM ONTARIO
AND CONVERTED
AN ABANDONED DAIRY FARM
INTO A CERTIFIED ORGANIC
CRAFT BREWERY.
THE BIG CHALLENGE EVER SINCE
HAS BEEN KEEPING UP
WITH DEMAND.

The caption changes to "Jeremy White. Founder and Alesmith Big Spruce Brewing." Jeremy is in his forties, clean-shaven with curly brown hair. He wears gray trousers, a headband and dark blur zip jacket.

Jeremy says HERE WE ARE ON OUR FARM,
WHICH IS CALLED BRETON FIELDS.
IT'S A 75-ACRE HERITAGE FARM.
USED TO BE A SUBSISTENCE
DAIRY FARM.
LAID FALLOW FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS
BEFORE WE BOUGHT IT FROM
THE PROVINCIAL TRUSTEE.
WE CAME HERE FOR
LIFESTYLE REASONS.
I DON'T THINK WE REALIZED
WHAT DOIN' IT HERE,
RURALLY,
IN SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT AS THIS,
WAS GONNA MEAN
TO CONSUMERS.
WE STARTED AS TWO FERMENTERS.
THOUGHT IT WOULD TAKE US
THREE YEARS TO BUILD UP
TO A THIRD FERMENTER.
AND WE WERE THREE FERMENTERS,
FIVE WEEKS INTO THE BUSINESS.
WE'RE NOW SIX FERMENTERS.
AND THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER
HERE IN 2014,
WE'VE BEEN AVERAGING
THIRTEEN AND A HALF THOUSAND
LITERS PER MONTH.
AND WE LIKE TO BRING
ELEMENTS OF SUSTAINABILITY
INTO OUR OPERATIONS AND
OUR FARMING HERE.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE,
ALL OF THE SPENT GRAIN
FROM OUR BREWING PROCESS
IS PICKED UP
AND TAKEN TO
CAPE BRETON'S ONLY
CERTIFIED ORGANIC
HERD OF DAIRY CATTLE.

Several silver containers sit in a warehouse.

He continues AND THE FARMER,
IN RETURN FOR THE FOOD
WE PROVIDE TO HIS CATTLE,
BRINGS US HIS CERTIFIED
ORGANIC MANURE,
WHICH WE USE TO
FERTILIZE OUR HOP YARD,
AND OUR VEGGIE GARDENS,
AND THE REST OF OUR LAND
HERE ON THE FARM.
I THINK,
FOR US,
LIVING IN
THE BIOSPHERE
IS ABOUT
A REMINDER OF THE PAST,
AND ABOUT WHAT THIS
BODY OF WATER
ON WHICH WE LIVE
PROVIDED TO THE PEOPLE
IN THIS AREA
FOR HUNDREDS,
IF NOT THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
AND I THINK,
AS YOU GO FORWARD IN YOUR
BUSINESS AND PERSONAL LIFE,
HAVING THAT REMINDER THERE
IMPACTS YOUR DECISIONS
IN BUSINESS,
IMPACTS YOUR
DECISIONS IN YOUR LIFE,
AND I THINK IMPACTS THEM
IN A REALLY POSITIVE WAY.

(soft music plays)

The Narrator says EVENTS LIKE CELTIC COLOURS,
AND COMPANIES LIKE
BIG SPRUCE BREWING,
ARE BREATHING
NEW LIFE INTO
THE BRAS D'OR LAKE
BIOSPHERE RESERVE.
BUT SOME OLDER INDUSTRIES
ARE PROVING THEY TOO CAN BE
ENVIRONMENTALLY AND
ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE.
KEVIN SQUIRES IS A THIRD-
GENERATION LOBSTER FISHERMAN
WHO LIVES ON
THE BRAS D'OR LAKE
AND FISHES IN
THE ADJACENT OCEAN.

The caption changes to "Kevin Squires. Lobster Fisherman." Kevin is in his fifties, with a white beard and white hair. He wears black-rimmed glasses and a denim shirt.

Kevin says MY GRANDFATHER ORIGINALLY
CAME FROM NEWFOUNDLAND
LOOKING FOR WORK
IN THE EARLY 1900S.
AND MY FAMILY HAS
STAYED HERE EVER SINCE.
DAD...
WORKED AT VARIOUS JOBS AROUND
FISHING, BUILDING BOATS.
AND WE JUST PICKED UP ALONG
THE DIRECTION THAT
HE SET US, I GUESS.

The Narrator says FISHERIES IN ATLANTIC CANADA,
THE LOBSTER INDUSTRY
IS THRIVING,
WITH CANADIAN LOBSTER LANDINGS
NEAR HUNDRED-YEAR HIGHS.
THE SUSTAINABLE
MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
RESPONSIBLE FOR
THIS ABUNDANCE
ARE ALWAYS EVOLVING
IN COLLABORATION
BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF
FISHERIES AND OCEANS
AND LOCAL FISHING
COMMUNITIES.
THEY INCLUDE
STAGGERED FISHING SEASONS...
TRAPS DESIGNED TO LET
YOUNG LOBSTERS ESCAPE...
AND SIZE RESTRICTIONS.

Kevin lifts a trap containing lobsters into his boat.

Kevin says THE MAIN BODY OF A LOBSTER,
HIS BACK IS HIS CARAPACE.
AND WE HOOK THAT
IN THE EYE SOCKET,
IN THE BONEY STRUCTURE,
WHERE THE EYE IS.
IF IT DOESN'T GO DOWN OVER
THE BACK END OF THAT CARAPACE,
HE'S LEGAL TO KEEP.
IF IT DOES GO
OVER THE CARAPACE,
IF THE CARAPACE IS
SMALLER THAN THAT SIZE,
THEN HE'S BACK IN THE WATER.
THE LAST INCREASE
IN THE MEASUREMENT,
ABOUT A MILLIMETER
AND A HALF,
WAS PRIMARILY SO THAT IT'S
EASIER FOR US TO GET INTO
THE AMERICAN MARKET.
BUT THE OTHER AFFECT IT HAS
IS THAT IT'S LEAVING A LOT MORE
ANIMALS IN THE WATER.
IT'S ESTIMATED FROM SEVEN TO TEN
PERCENT MORE ANIMALS ARE LEFT,
JUST IN THAT
MILLIMETER AND A HALF.
EARLY IN THE SEASON,
I SUPPOSE YOU MIGHT BE
THROWING BACK 20 PERCENT.
LATER IN THE SEASON,
WE PROBABLY GET UP TO
WELL OVER HALF.
WE OFTEN TALK ABOUT
WHAT IT TAKES TO
ENCOURAGE A SENSE
OF STEWARDSHIP
AND OWNERSHIP
OF THE RESOURCE.
WE'VE SEEN THE COLLAPSE
OF THE COD FISHERY.
WE USED TO HAVE A GOOD
MACKEREL FISHERY HERE.
WE USED TO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT
HERRING FISHERY HERE.
SO WE HAVE, IN OUR OWN
LIFETIME EXPERIENCES,
THOSE...
EXAMPLES THAT SAY
WE CAN LOSE A FISHERY.
NOT MANY PEOPLE GET TO MAKE
THEIR LIVING FROM THE SEA.
IT'S A PRETTY UNIQUE EXPERIENCE.
AND THE RECOGNITION THAT
THAT RESOURCE
CAN CONTRIBUTE TO YOU
BEING ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING,
TO PAYING FOR YOUR CAR,
FOR PAYING FOR YOUR KIDS
TO GO TO SCHOOL OR WHATEVER...
I THINK THAT CONTRIBUTES
TO WANTING TO MAKE SURE
THAT THERE'S A RESOURCE
THERE FOR THE FUTURE.
SO I THINK THAT
THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY
IS A WHOLE LOT MORE IMPORTANT
THAN YOU CAN DEFINE.

The Narrator says KEVIN IS A LONG-TIME SUPPORTER
OF THE UNESCO BIOSPHERE
RESERVE DESIGNATION
FOR THE BRAS D'OR.
HE SEES THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE
AS A WAY TO GET OTHER PEOPLE
THINKING LIKE LOBSTER FISHERS.

Kevin says WE'VE TALKED ABOUT
HOW WE'VE COME TO TERMS
WITH SUSTAINABILITY IN
THE LOBSTER FISHERY.
WELL, AS A BROADER
COASTAL COMMUNITY,
HOW CAN WE LEARN TO
LIVE SUSTAINABLY?
WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO?
SO THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE SEEMS
TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY
TO LOOK AT THINGS
THROUGH THAT LENS.

The Narrator says THE LOBSTER INDUSTRY'S
SUSTAINABLE HARVESTING RULES
HAVE KEPT LOBSTER
POPULATIONS HIGH
WHERE KEVIN FISHES IN
JUST OUTSIDE THE BRAS D'OR.
UNFORTUNATELY, IN SOME PARTS
OF THE BRAS D'OR LAKE ITSELF,
LOBSTER POPULATIONS HAVE
DECLINED IN RECENT YEARS.
DR. BRUCE HATCHER
BELIEVES THAT,
DESPITE BEST EFFORTS
TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABILITY,
THERE ARE OFTEN FACTORS BEYOND
THE CONTROL OF LOCAL FISHERMEN.

Bruce says THE DIFFICULTY IS THAT
WE ARE AT A TIME WHEN THE...
PATTERNS OF PRODUCTIVITY AND
ABUNDANCE OF DIFFERENT SPECIES
ARE CHANGING
DUE TO FACTORS
THAT HAVE
LITTLE OR
NOTHING TO DO
WITH OUR
EXPLOITATION OF THEM.
THEY HAVE TO DO WITH
CHANGES IN OCEAN CLIMATE.
THEY HAVE TO DO WITH CHANGES IN
MIGRATION PATTERNS OF SPECIES
IN THE WORLD'S OCEANS,
HAVE TO DO WITH ACIDIFICATION
OF THE WORLD'S OCEANS.
SO IT'S AN EVEN
MORE DIFFICULT PLACE
TO MANAGE OUR FISHERIES
THAN IT WAS IN THE PAST.

The Narrator says IN RECENT YEARS,
FEW EXTERNAL FACTORS HAVE BEEN
MORE DEVASTATING TO
THE BRAS D'OR
THAN THE MSX PARASITE.
BUT BRUCE BELIEVES
THERE IS HOPE FOR
THE RECOVERY OF THE OYSTERS
AND THE OYSTER INDUSTRY
IN THE BRAS D'OR.

Bruce says THERE WAS A TIME WHEN
THE BRAS D'OR WAS
EXCEPTIONALLY
PRODUCTIVE OF OYSTER.
AND THAT COULD CERTAINLY
OCCUR AGAIN,
AFTER IT ADAPTS
TO THE PRESENCES OF
THE MSX PARASITE.

The Narrator says AS A PARASITE,
MSX DOESN'T ACTUALLY
WANT TO KILL ITS HOST,
BECAUSE DOING SO ALSO
KILLS THE PARASITE.
BUT IT COULD TAKE
DECADES OR LONGER
FOR MSX AND BRAS D'OR'S
REMAINING OYSTERS
TO LEARN TO LIVE TOGETHER.
SO PEOPLE HERE IN
THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE
ARE USING A VARIETY
OF TECHNIQUES
TO HELP THE OYSTER
ADAPT TO MSX.
AND HERE AT THE ESKASONI
FIRST NATION'S
FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION
LIVE SOME PRETTY
SPECIAL OYSTERS.

A man pours a green liquid into a tray containing oysters at a laboratory.

Allison says WELL, THE OYSTERS
THAT ARE IN OUR HATCHERY NOW
ARE BASICALLY SURVIVORS FROM
THE ORIGINAL MSX OUTBREAK.
SO ACTUALLY,
THEY'RE EITHER SURVIVORS OR
OFFSPRING OF THOSE SURVIVORS.

Thomas says WE'RE PLAYING A LITTLE
BIT OF NATURAL SELECTION.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.
AND HOPEFULLY,
WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS,
WE'LL HAVE A DISEASE-
RESISTANT STRAIN.
IT WILL STILL BE
INFECTED WITH
THE DISEASE,
BUT IT'LL BE ABLE TO SURVIVE
THE CONDITIONS OUT THERE
THAT THE DISEASE
HAS PUT UPON THE OYSTER.

The Narrator says THE SURVIVING OYSTERS
AT THE ESKASONI HATCHERY
GET THE STAR TREATMENT.
BIOLOGIST
ALLISON MCISSAC
HAS GROWN AN ALGAE BUFFET
FOR THEM.

Allison says WHEN THEY
COME INTO THE HATCHERY,
WE FEED THEM A VARIETY
OF MICRO-ALGAE SPECIES.
EACH OF THE ALGAE HAS
A DIFFERENT NUTRITIONAL VALUE,
SO WE FEED THEM A MIX
TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY
GET A BALANCED DIET.
WE'LL FEED THEM FOR A WHILE
TO CONDITION THEM
BACK UP TO THE CONDITION
THEY WOULD BE IN THE SUMMER,
AND THEN WE'LL SPAWN THEM.

The Narrator says AT THE HATCHERY,
THE ESKASONI FIRST NATION
IS GROWING THOUSANDS
OF WHAT THEY HOPE ARE
MSX RESISTANT OYSTERS
ON COLLECTORS LIKE
THIS SCALLOP SHELL.
THEY PLAN TO EVENTUALLY
GIVE THE BABY OYSTERS
TO LOCAL GROWERS
AFFECTED BY MSX.

Allison says ESKASONI HAS SEVEN LEASE HOLDERS
WHO HAD LEASES BEFORE MSX HIT.
AND WE'RE GONNA TRY TO
WORK WITH THOSE GROWERS
TO TEST OUT THOSE OFFSPRING
AND SEE IF THEY
DO SURVIVE BETTER
THAN SOMETHING THAT MIGHT
JUST BE IN THE WILD,
OR FROM A DIFFERENT AREA.

The Narrator says ALONG WITH THE WORK
IN THE ESKASONI HATCHERY,
THE MI'KMAQ FIRST NATIONS
ON THE BRAS D'OR
ARE COLLABORATING WITH
THE DEPARTMENT OF
FISHERIES AND OCEANS
ON ANOTHER APPROACH
TO HELP THE OYSTER...
OYSTER SANCTUARIES.
DURING THE MI'KMAQ'S EARLIER
WHAT'S NOW THE GILLIS
COVE OYSTER SANCTUARY
WAS ALWAYS ONE OF THE BEST
PLACES TO COLLECT BABY OYSTERS,
OR "SPAT."
WHEN AN OYSTER SPAWNS,
THE LARVAE SWIM AROUND
FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS
BEFORE THEY STICK ONTO
SOMETHING TO START GROWING.
SO FOUR YEARS AGO,
AT THE GILLIS COVE SANCTUARY,
THE MI'KMAQ PUT SPAT
COLLECTORS IN THE WATER
OUT THERE STILL SPAWNING.
SURE ENOUGH,
SOME BABY OYSTERS STARTED
GROWING ON THE COLLECTORS.

A male fisher speaks Mi'kmaq.

Then, he collects oysters and says...THREE HUNDRED.
(SPEAKING MI'KMAQ)

Charlie says WE WERE VERY SURPRISED WHEN WE
STARTED COLLECTING OYSTER SEED
IN GILLIS COVE.
IT WAS A WILD
POPULATION OF SEED.
WE FIGURED THERE MUST BE
SOME SURVIVORS OUT THERE.
SO, FOR FOUR YEARS NOW,
WE'VE BEEN COLLECTING SEED,
ALL THIS TIME,
EVERY YEAR...
AND TWICE A YEAR,
WE SORT THEM OUT.
THE FIRST YEAR WAS
VERY HIGH MORTALITIES.
I WOULD SAY ABOUT 20 PERCENT
SURVIVED IN THE TRAYS,
BUT WE KEPT DOIN' IT.
IT WENT UP TO 50 PERCENT,
70 PERCENT,
AND 80 PERCENT,
90 PERCENT.
I THINK WE'RE AT 95 NOW.
THESE ARE THE ONES
THAT HAVE SURVIVED MSX.

A male fisher opens a trap.

Charlie points to the oyster in the trap and says THREE YEARS OF SORTING THEM OUT
FROM DEAD TO LIVE.
AND AS YOU CAN SEE,
THESE ARE VERY
STRONG-LOOKING OYSTERS.
AND THIS WILL PROBABLY SPAWN...
TWO, THREE MILLION EGGS.
THEY'RE VERY
IMPORTANT TO US,
SO WE HAVE TO TAKE
CARE OF THESE.
WE'RE HOPING THAT
WE MAY BE ABLE TO SUPPLY
BOTH NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE
LEASE-HOLDERS,
PEOPLE THAT HAVE
OYSTER LEASES,
WITH SEED FROM HERE.
AND THIS COULD BRING BACK
THE OYSTER INDUSTRY
THE WAY IT WAS.

The Narrator says THERE ARE HIGH HOPES THAT THE
CAREFULLY CULTIVATED OYSTERS
AT THE GILLIS COVE
OYSTER SANCTUARY
HAVE LEARNED TO LIVE
WITH THE MSX PARASITE
AND THEY CAN BE USED
AS A STARTING POINT
FOR RECOVERING THE OYSTER
INDUSTRY IN THE BRAS D'OR.
BUT NOT FAR
FROM GILLIS COVE,
JOE GOOGOO AND
HIS SON KIRBY
ARE TRYING THEIR OWN
APPROACH TO HELP THE OYSTER.
RESEARCH FROM OTHER AREAS
STRUGGLING WITH MSX
IN THE UNITED STATES
HAS REVEALED THAT MSX
ISN'T AS LETHAL TO OYSTERS
IN LOW-SALINITY WATER.
KNOWING THIS,
JOE SET UP HIS FARM
IN A PARTIALLY FRESHWATER
BARACHOIS POND
NEXT TO THE BRAS D'OR.
PONDS AROUND THE LAKE,
SO IF JOE'S EXPERIMENT
IS SUCCESSFUL,
IT COULD LIKELY
BE REPLICATED.

Joe says RIGHT NOW IT’S
MOSTLY EXPERIMENTAL.
SO WE’RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DO IT.
AND I DON’T CARE IF I COULD SELL
OYSTERS FOR THE NEXT
2-3 YEARS. ‘CAUSE IF I SELL THEM
TOO FAST, I’LL ELIMINATE MY SPAWNERS.

Joe and Kirby select oysters.

The caption changes to "Kirby Googoo. Joe Googoo’s son,Oyster Farmer." Kirby is in his twenties, with black hair and clean-shaven. He wears a blue shirt with white letters.

Kirby says WHAT WE'RE REALLY TRYING TO DO
IS GET MORE SPAWNS OUT,
MORE OYSTERS,
SO WE CAN GET THEM
SPAWNIN' OUT THERE, TOO,
SO IT WON'T BE JUST IN HERE.
IT'D BE EVERYWHERE ELSE.

Joe says WHEN I STARTED SEVEN YEARS AGO,
THERE WAS NOTHING OUT THERE.
MAYBE AROUND HALF A DOZEN OYSTERS.
I CAME THIS FAR, I THINK I COULD FIGURE
IT OUT.

Robin says THERE'S NO ANIMAL THAT
I CAN THINK OF, SINGULARLY,
THAT COULD HAVE MORE EFFECT
BENEFITING THE BIOSPHERE THAN
A HEALTHY OYSTER POPULATION.
AND WHEN I SAY THAT,
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE JUST WILD.
FARMING IS JUST AS
IMPORTANT A COMPONENT.
I DON'T THINK THE WILD
WILL COME BACK
UNTIL THERE ARE MORE FARMS.
WE NEED MORE FARMS
LIKE JOE'S OUT THERE...
PEOPLE WILLING TO TRY
USING RESISTANT STOCKS.

Joe says I’VE BEEN INTO THIS
FOR 40 YEARS NOW.
AND I’LL PROBABLY KEEP
ON DOING IT UNTIL
THE DAY I DIE.
I LOVE DOING IT.
IF I GET PAID OR NOT,
I’LL BE DOING IT.

Kirby says I WAS PICKING 'EM
AT SIX YEARS OLD WITH MY DAD.
I JUST LOVE IT HERE.
I LEARN NEW THINGS
EVERY DAY.
I'D RATHER BE OUT IN THE OPEN
THAN IN AN OFFICE.

Charlie says I THINK WE'VE FOUND A WAY
TO BRING THE OYSTERS BACK
INTO THE BRAS D'OR LAKES,
BUT WE WANT TO DO
IT SLOWLY, TOO.
IT CAN'T BE A SORTA
WILD WEST SHOW ANY MORE.
PEOPLE HAVE TO REALIZE
THAT YOU JUST CAN'T
GO OUT THERE AND OVER-HARVEST.
YOU GOTTA LEAVE
SOMETHING BEHIND, Y'KNOW?

Jim says THE ISLAND HAS
A LONG HISTORY OF...
NATURAL RESOURCE
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,
THROUGH THE STEEL MILL,
THROUGH THE COAL MINES.
BUT AS THOSE
ECONOMIC DRIVERS FADE AWAY,
WE'RE LEFT WITH
THIS PLACE WHERE,
WHEN PEOPLE COME,
THEY WANT TO STAY,
AND THEY DO STAY...
WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO
MAKE SURE THAT
THIS ENVIRONMENT LASTS
FOR THEIR CHILDREN
AND GRANDCHILDREN.
AND SO THE IDEA THAT
THAT ACTIVITY...
THOSE PEOPLE
SHOULD BE REWARDED,
OR AWARDED,
WITH THIS DESIGNATION
WAS REALLY A LONG TIME COMING.
AND OF COURSE
THAT'S PART OF GETTING
A BIOSPHERE RESERVE
DESIGNATION,
IS REALLY SHOWING
THAT YOU ARE
ALREADY ACTING AS
A BIOSPHERE RESERVE.

Kirby gently taps oysters using a knife.

Joe says THIS IS NOT FOR ME,
IT’S FOR THE FUTURE
RIGHT NOW.
BY THE TIME I BEAT MSX,
I’LL BE 90 YEARS OLD.
He laughs and says SO IT’S
MOSTLY FOR THE FUTURE,
NOT FOR ME.
I’D LIKE TO SEE THEM COME
BACK ANYWAY.
FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS.

A final caption reads "In Memory of Charles Joseph Dennis, 1949-2015."

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

For more on the biosphere reserves of Striking Balance www.striking balance.ca

Director and Editor, Zach Melnick.

Producer and Graphics, Yvonne Drebert.

Executive Producer TVO, Jane Jarkovic.

Copyright 2016, Striking Balance Inc.

Watch: Ep. 4 - Bras d'Or