Discovery Islands Deadline

The government has only until December 18 to take action.

In 2012, The Cohen Commission report laid out 75 recommendations for the Government of Canada. The report was meant to serve as a roadmap to restoring Pacific salmon populations and re-establishing sustainable communities and economies that depend on salmon, but sadly many of the recommendations are still outstanding, including Recommendation #19, which said that “On September 30, 2020, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans should prohibit net-pen salmon farming in the Discovery Islands (fish health sub-zone 3-2) unless he or she is satisfied that such farms pose at most a minimal risk of serious harm to the health of migrating Fraser River sockeye salmon”.

Eight years later, the government has failed to do this despite more than 100 First Nations in support of transition. Instead, on September 28, 2020 it issued a statement punting the decision three more months down the road, and just now launched a very limited and rushed “consultation” with only seven First Nations. The Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) also presided over a limited and improperly reviewed assessment of scientific work to inform its view of potential harm to wild stocks.

With 18 fish farms currently operating in the Discovery Islands, the federal government has only until December 18th to take action on removing these farms before their aquaculture licenses are up for renewal.

Here’s What
You Can Do

Take Action: Tell the government there’s still time to save wild salmon. Show your support for putting Wild First!


Government of Canada

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Safe Salmon

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Safe Salmon

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David Suzuki Foundation

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What Others Are Saying

The government’s inadequate Discovery Islands response has been called out by First Nations, and organizations across a broad range, see those reactions here.

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council

News Release: Carrier Sekani Tribal Council calls for transparency from DFO on fish farm transition plan.

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

News Release: Catastrophic Decline in Pacific Salmon will be Hastened by DFO Fish Farm Decision that Flouts Critical Cohen Recommendation.

Living Oceans

News Release: Living Oceans’ response to today’s Fisheries Announcement on Salmon Farms in the Discovery Islands.

Watershed Watch

Media Release: Feds Skip Key Research in Discovery Islands Fish Farm Decision.

Pacific Salmon Foundation

News Release: PSF Perspective on DFO Decision to Consult with First Nations in the Discovery Islands.


Press Release: Failure to close open-net fish farms in the Discovery Islands puts wild salmon at increased risk.

David Suzuki Foundation

News Release: DFO’s assessment of fish farms misses key threats to wild salmon.

Pacific Wild

Post: #SalmonCount and it’s time for DFO to get #FishFarmsOut for good.

Georgia Strait Alliance

Post: Enough is enough. Call your MP and ask them to follow science and the precautionary principle to protect wild salmon from open-net pen fish farms.

Safe Salmon

Post: Today the feds announced that salmon farms are of “minimal” risk to wild salmon and admitted they didn’t include a proper risk assessment of parasitic lice from farms.

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