Vancouver Sun (June 19, 2024)
20 Jun
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Deadline set to remove open-net pen salmon farms in BC

The federal government has set a deadline to ban open-net pen salmon farms in BC waters by 2029. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously promised to move salmon farms out of coastal BC waters during the 2019 election.

Wild Pacific salmon are keystone species in BC, ecologically, culturally and economically, but currently facing declining populations.

“Given the existential threat posed to the future of this species, the federal government agrees, it is important for authorities to act on the basis of the precautionary principle,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Canada.

BC is the last place on North America’s west coast with ocean-polluting Atlantic salmon farms. Washington State banned open-net pen salmon farms in 2022.

The decline of wild Pacific salmon threatens food security for First Nations across BC, along with the recreational and commercial fishery sectors, which are characterized as economically larger than salmon farming in BC.

The ban can be viewed as “a basis of province-wide reconciliation with First Nations,” says Bob Chamberlin, Chair – FNWSA. It’s a “postive step” that services longer-term needs to protect wild Pacific salmon for future generations.

Read full Vancouver Sun article here.