Open net pen fish farms threaten the survival of wild Pacific salmon
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.
Wild First Voices
Dr. Chief Robert Joseph
“The salmon are so iconic for us. They’re the very essence of who we are.” Hear from Dr. Chief Robert Joseph on the importance of our shared responsibility to protect wild Pacific salmon.
Karen Wristen, Executive Director Living Oceans Society, on the critical need to protect wild Pacific salmon and their importance to the entire West Coast ecosystem.
It’s time to end the pens and build a more sustainable future, says Ray Grigg, an author, environmental columnist, and founding and executive member of Quadra Island’s Sierra Club. “The sooner they’re out of British Columbia, the better.”
“The whole ecosystem of this coast beats with the heart of the salmon,” says Geraldine Kenny, founder of Sierra Club BC’s Quadra Island group.
Mike Griswold, a commercial fisher for 50 years and long time member of the Fraser River Panel, discusses the devastating impact of sea lice from open net pen fish farms on wild Pacific salmon migrating back to the Fraser River.
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.
“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.
Claudia Lake, Discovery Islands resident, former commercial fisher, ecotourism employee and wild salmon advocate applauds the Fisheries’ Minister’s decision to remove open net pen fish farms from the Discovery Islands.
For decades, Dave Boyes has drawn attention to the devastating impact of open net pen fish farms on wild Pacific salmon. Thank you to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, for leading the removal of open net pen fish farms from BC waters.
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.
Open net pen fish farms release parasites, pathogens and pollutants into BC waters—with deadly consequences.
Dr. Kristi Miller-Saunders (DFO scientist) on the devastating impact of Tenacibaculum on wild Pacific salmon.
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.