Our Wild
Salmon Are

Here’s one important
reason why

British Columbia is the only region on the Pacific coast of North America that still allows open net-pen Atlantic salmon fish farms [1].
Crawford, T. (2018, April 5). B.C. chefs ask gov’t to stop net-pen salmon farming. Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-chefs-pen-letter-to-government-to-stop-salmon-farming

Open net-pen fish farms are large cages or nets placed in coastal waters, next to wild species. They are sometimes referred to as open -cage, -net, or -pen. They contain hundreds of thousands of fish. For the aquaculture industry, net-pen fish farms are an effective farming method, as they don’t need to worry about cleaning up waste, chemicals or diseases.

But they’re an
environmental disaster.

Map of West Coast with B.C. in Red

An open net-pen fish farm in B.C.
Jurisdiction comparison

In 2017, an open net-pen fish farm in Washington state collapsed, causing over 250,000 invasive Atlantic salmon to escape. [2].Mapes, L. (2018, January 30). Fish farm caused Atlantic salmon spill near San Juans, then tried to hide how bad it was, state says. Retrieved May 10, 2019, fromhttps://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/fish-farm-caused-atlantic-salmon-spill-state-says-then-tried-to-hide-how-bad-it-was/

The catastrophe spread parasites and deadly diseases into the Puget Sound, wreaking havoc on wild Pacific salmon. This prompted Washington lawmakers to ban open Atlantic salmon farming, joining the ranks of California, Oregon and Alaska. [3]Le, P. (2018, March 22). Washington state phases out Atlantic salmon farming. Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://bc.ctvnews.ca/washington-state-phases-out-atlantic-salmon-farming-1.3854993

British Columbia is now the only region on the Pacific coast of North America that still allows open net-pen Atlantic salmon fish farms.

And because of this,
B.C.’s wild salmon are

2016 saw the lowest number of sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River since records began over a hundred years ago in 1893. [4]Semeniuk, I. (2017, December 05). Sockeye salmon recommended for listing under Species At Risk Act. Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/sockeye-salmon-recommended-for-listing-under-species-at-risk-act/article37178682/

A year later, Fisheries and Oceans Canada expected a wild salmon run of 4.4 million.

But only 1.5 million salmon returned. [5]The Canadian Press. (2017, September 28). Fraser sockeye returns stay low while feds say they’re amping up protections. Retrieved May 10, 2019, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sockeye-returns-low-1.4312596

A growing consensus of scientists now believe they know the cause of the collapse of our salmon: open net-pen fish farms.

Here’s why:

Fish farms contain parasites, pollutants and deadly diseases. Open fish farms cannot contain or control the outflow of waste from their facilities.