World News – CA – 19 fish farms shut down to aid wild salmon

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The concern is that farmed fish can pass diseases on to wild salmon that migrate nearby. (iStock)

The Canadian government will phase out 19 fish farms on the Discovery Islands off Canada’s west coast in order to stem the decade-long decline in wild salmon fish stocks. Wild salmon travel in from the Pacific, traverse the waters around the Discovery Islands, and then swim upriver through rivers to spawn.

The salmon are prey for orca whales, sea lions and other marine animals. They are also a source of food for bears, wolves, eagles, seagulls, and other wildlife. The end of their life cycle provides vital nutrients to the majestic forests of Canada’s west coast. Your energetic swim upriver is a popular tourist attraction, as is salmon fishing. Commercial salmon fishing is important to the British Columbia’s economy, and fish is a traditional source of food for indigenous peoples.

In 2012, a special commission on the decline of the Fraser River sockeye salmon concluded that fish farms around the Discovery Islands have the potential to introduce new diseases and exacerbate those that already exist in wild sockeye salmon. It was recommended that the operation be immediately banned if the government « determines that salmon farms pose more than a minimal risk ».

The Discovery Islands are the traditional territory of several indigenous tribes. The German government consulted them on this decision and has committed itself to continue to do so in order to develop a future policy for aquaculture in the region. The British Columbia government has a land tenure agreement that stipulates that starting June 2022, all aquaculture licenses must be approved by the local First Nations.

« The Government of Canada remains committed to sustainable, environmentally conscious aquaculture, but needs to be developed together and include the voices of indigenous peoples and all Canadians, » said Bernadette Jordan, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans. “(This)… the decision was not an easy one. I am determined to work with everyone involved. First Nations, industry, and the Province of British Columbia to ensure a fair and orderly transition process that will phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands over the next 18 months.

The Discovery Islands off Canada’s west coast are the traditional territory of several indigenous tribes. (jeu / iStock)

The licenses for these 19 fish farms expired on 18. December 2020 expired. Currently nine of them have no fish and the remaining ten are not allowed to put new fish in their stalls. There are still around three million salmon left. June 2022 must be harvested.

British Columbia has about 130 marine fish farms, most of which raise salmon, reports Canadian Press. Jordan is quoted as saying that the process of phasing out the remaining farms will be different and that consultations on this will begin in January 2021.

Discovery Islands, Fish Farming, Salmon, British Columbia, Mowi, Canada

World News – CA – 19 fish farms shut down to aid wild salmon

Ref: https://www.rcinet.ca

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