Give wild Pacific salmon a fighting chance

Open net pen fish farms threaten the survival of this critical species

The way forward

The federal government has mandated that it will work with the province and Indigenous communities to create “a responsible plan to transition from open net pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025.”

But open net pen fish farmers are resisting this mandate. Meanwhile, these fish farms continue to spread parasites and diseases into BC waters, with devastating consequences for communities and ecosystems across the province.

The transition away from open net pen fish farms has been years in the making.

The effects of open net pen fish farms on wild Pacific salmon have been well-researched and documented for decades. Open net pen fish farm companies have had extensive notice that a transition to modern sustainable aquaculture, through land based closed containment, was coming.

See full timeline

Wild First Voices

Dan Billy

An elder of the We Wai Kai Nation, Dan Billy supports transitioning away from open net pen fish farms, and is speaking up for the recovery of wild Pacific salmon for all people, for generations to come.

Click the image above to hear Dan’s story.

Melissa Collier

A commercial fisher and trained biologist, Melissa Collier sees first-hand how open net pen fish farming threatens wild Pacific salmon stocks. “Fishing has been our past and it’s our future,” says the Courtenay, BC, mother of two.

Click the image above to hear Melissa’s story.

Al Dawson

“The benefits of fish farms do not outweigh the value of wild salmon stocks,” says Al Dawson, a member of the Coast Guard in Campbell River.

Click the image above to hear Al’s story.

Open net pen fish farms release parasites, pathogens and pollutants into BC waters—with deadly consequences.

Sea lice penetrate into the salmon’s flesh, puncture the skin and suck blood from young salmon, making the smolts weaker and more susceptible to disease or illness. As a result, annual salmon returns have been significantly impacted.

Once wild Pacific salmon are gone, we can’t undo the damage.

And it’s not just the salmon that are at stake. In addition to protecting wild Pacific salmon and the more than 100 species like grizzlies, orcas and eagles that rely on these fish for survival, this transition future-proofs BC’s aquaculture industry and provides the potential for clean, sustainable jobs.

Learn more about the issue

Construction begins at 6,000 tonnes-a-year Icelandic land-based salmon farm

Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in land based closed containment. Now is the time to act.

Exposing the heavy-handed tactics of BC’s salmon farmers

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