Salmon farm licences denied
The Canadian Press - Feb 17, 2023 - BC Biz

Photo: The Canadian Press

VICTORIA — Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray says the government will not renew licences for 15 open-net Atlantic salmon farms around B.C.’s Discovery Islands.

Murray says the Discovery Islands area is a key migration route for wild salmon, where narrow passages bring migrating juvenile salmon into close contact with the farms.

She said in a news release that recent science indicates uncertainty over the risks posed by the farms to wild salmon.

Open-net fish farms off B.C.’s coast have been a major flashpoint, with environmental groups and some Indigenous nations saying the farms are linked to the transfer of disease to wild salmon, while the industry and some local politicians say thousands of jobs are threatened if operations are phased out.

Murray said the decision came after extensive consultations with First Nations, the industry and others, and the department is taking a “highly precautionary” approach to managing salmon farming in that area.

She said there are multiple stressors on wild salmon, including climate change, habitat degradation and both regulated and illegal fishing.

All BC Biz Stories