The Guardian (June 20, 2024)
20 Jun
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Open-net pens banned in BC to protect wild Pacific salmon

In 2019, the Liberal government made a committment to transition open-net pen salmon farms from coastal BC waters to protect declining wild Pacific salmon populations. Open-net pen salmon farms will be banned in BC waters by June 30, 2029.

“Today, we are delivering on that promise and taking an important step in Canada’s path towards salmon and environmental conservation, sustainable aquaculture production, and clean technology,” says Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Canada.

According to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, more than half of wild Pacific salmon stock populations are declining in BC.

“There’s a large body of science that shows that [open-net pen salmon farms] amplify parasites, viruses and bacteria right on the wild salmon migration routes and spread them to wild fish,” said Stan Proboszcz, Senior Science and Policy Analyst, Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “The announcement needs to be enshrined in law in case we see a change in government next year.”

Over 120 First Nations from across BC and 75% of British Columbians support the removal of open-net pen salmon farms out of BC waters.

“This [ban] will serve the longer-term needs of protecting wild Pacific salmon from the impacts of the open-net pen fish farm industry, and is a positive step in that regard,’ said Bob Chamberlin, Chair – FNWSA.

Read full article by The Guardian here.