Campbell River, B.C. –
“Continue to work with the province of British Columbia and Indigenous communities on a responsible plan to transition from open net-pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025 and work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act.”
The mandate released today by the federal government to develop a responsible plan for transition of open-net salmon farms by 2025 is consistent with our industry’s approach to work with the Province’s coastal Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to advance our sector.
This decision also supports commitments made by the Trudeau government concerning science-based decision-making, Indigenous reconciliation, and building a low-carbon blue economy. The approach outlined in today’s mandate letter for the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean provides a path forward towards the stability of BC’s largest agri-food export at a time when the agriculture industry in BC has already been devastated by recent flooding. It also provides our industry’s employees and our support sector with much-needed reprieve from disruptive policy and allows us to continue our work on the transition.
The majority of salmon in BC is farmed in agreement/partnerships with local First Nations. BC salmon producers support First Nation’s rights to self-determination and governance of their territories by being committed to the path of reconciliation and having all farms operating in partnerships with First Nations.
Numerous studies by DFO scientists show salmon farms pose less than minimal risk to wild salmon and that climate change, overfishing, urban development, and industrial pollution are the drivers of wild salmon decline. Our industry is committed to advancing wild salmon supports and operations that continue to minimize impact to wild salmon.
Salmon farming in BC should be encouraged and promoted as a sector that significantly aligns with the federal government’s platform commitments. We look forward to working with First Nations, and all levels of government towards the achievement of a transition plan that continues to advance our work as farmers of sustainable, low carbon, healthy protein source for Canadian tables.
About the BC Salmon Farmers Association:
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.6 billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in thousands of jobs. The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association represents over 60 businesses and organizations throughout the value chain of finfish aquaculture in B.C. Our members account for over 95% of the annual provincial harvest of farm-raised salmon in British Columbia.
Quick Facts – B.C. Salmon Farming Sector:
- British Columbia’s salmon farmers are investing, developing, and transitioning to world leading precision ocean technologies to protect coastal environments, wild salmon, and fish welfare.
- Over 80 per cent of salmon farmed in B.C. is done in agreement with First Nations.
- Farmed salmon has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any farmed protein, making it a responsible and sustainable dietary choice.
- Farmed salmon is B.C.’s #1 seafood and agri-food export with a total economic output of $1.6 billion.
- Salmon farming supports thousands of full-time jobs that pay 30 per cent higher than B.C.’s median income.
- Many of these jobs are in rural coastal Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on North Vancouver Island.
- Salmon farmers produce 87,000 tonnes of farmed salmon annually, this creates 353 million healthy, locally produced meals with low carbon footprints.
- Since the pandemic salmon donations to local and regional food banks alone have exceeded over 50 tonnes (equal to over 500,000 meals).
- Take a Deeper Dive about Sea Lice and other common salmon farming topics here: https://www.bcsalmonfarmers.ca/deeperdive