B.C.’s Wild
Salmon Are
Dying

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, open-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

Alaska
British
Columbia
Washington
Oregon
California
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 Governor Jay Inslee and state senators to move swiftly 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-1.3854993This would not have happened without tribes across Washington state joining forces with Canadian First Nations to push for this historic change.

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

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 Governor Jay Inslee and state senators to move swiftly 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-1.3854993This would not have happened without tribes across Washington state joining forces with Canadian First Nations to push for this historic change.

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


2020 is expected to see 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/

Below 300,000 salmon returns are forecasted. [4]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 a key contributing cause of the collapse of our salmon: open-net pen fish farms.

Here’s why:

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