Monday, January 20, 2014

Federal Government lifts freeze on Salmon Farming

In what could prove to be a very controversial decision on the West Coast, the Federal Government has  lifted the freeze on Fish Farm applications and already has received 11 applications to expand or introduce new salmon farming operations on the West Coast.

The decision which reportedly was made back in October of 2013, has never been publicly announced, a process which has raised the alarm for opponents of the Fish Farming industry who have issues not only on the impact of a revival of fish farming applications, but over the lack of transparency of the Federal Government's actions.

On the theme of transparency, opponents to the program certainly could point to the Government's own information flow as lacking in details.

A search of the Fisheries and Oceans website lists no announcement on the lifting of the moratorium or much on aquaculture itself in either this months listings or those of 2013.

The lifting of the moratorium on Fish Farming would also seem to be in conflict with the findings of the Cohen Commission Report.

As we outlined in our blog item of November 2012 that report outlined concerns over ocean net fish farms and the impact that they could have on wild stocks, with particular attention to the prospect of disease and sea lice.

Justice Cohen's commission heard much in the way of testimony regarding the discussion between Wild and Farmed Salmon in British Columbia, including participation from those on the North Coast when the Commission appeared in Prince Rupert in September of 2010.

You can review the full Cohen Commission Report from its archive.

Environmentalists have long been in opposition to the expansion of the Fish Farming Industry up and down the West Coast of Canada.

Much of their work has focused on their concerns that the industry offers to wild stocks and come through the work of a number of organizations and individuals, a sample of which can be found below.

T Buck Suzuki Foundation -- Salmon Farming: A grave concern, a great hope
Alexandra Morton -- Prime Minister of Canada opens door to more salmon farms in BC

On the North Coast, The Friends of Wild Salmon have hosted a long running campaign against the prospect of Open net salmon farms in the region.

The concerns of those in opposition to the various proposals for increased aquaculture, pits them against supporters of a growing industry on the West coast.

Aquaculture volumes have risen in recent years in British Columbia, an evolution of a business that is taking place at the same time as those that rely on the Wild stocks of coastal British Columbia have seen a string of lean years in over the last decade or so.

A 2012 report from the BC Chamber of Commerce outlines that that Aquaculture industry in the province generated 800 million dollars in economic output in BC, with salmon farming making up 94 percent of the aquaculture industry.

The BC Salmon Farmers Association provides their side of the Aquaculture story through a variety of articles and interviews posted to their website.

The Society for Positive Aquaculture Awareness also makes their case for the industry, through a range of items posted to their website.

The lifting of the moratorium and the discussion over the less than transparent nature of the decision, will more than likely spur on much more debate in the months to come over the future of the industry in British Columbia.

Some items of interest over the recent developments can be found below.

January 16-- Ottawa opens door to fish farm expansion, and applications flood in
January 15-- B. C. Fish farmers see opportunity as DFO lifts licence freeze

You can review more background on the topic of the Fishing industry from our archive page.

No comments:

Post a Comment