Canadian authorities face court battle over Mowi’s planned Indian Head Hatchery expansion

Canada’s largest environmental law charity challenges multimillion-dollar expansion citing that NL authorities acted “unlawfully”.

Ecojustice has filed a lawsuit to stop the expansion of the Indian Head Hatchery near Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada.

They are representing the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland, the Freshwater-Alexander Bays Ecosystem Corporation, the Port Au Port Bay Fishery Committee, Alan Pickersgill, John Baird and Wayne Holloway.

The Indian Head Hatchery provides smolt to sea cages of the Northern Harvest Sea Farms, which is now owned by Mowi – after it bought the company for USD 248m last year. The company came with its own broodstock, smolt hatchery, farming sites and processing operations.

Last July, Northern Harvest Smolt applied to Municipal Affairs and Environment to carry out a USD 51 million expansion.

The group alleged that the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment acted unlawfully when it decided to release the hatchery from further environmental assessment.

Ecojustice lawyer Sarah McDonald wrote: “We’re calling on Minister Letto and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to account for their failure to expand fish farms in a responsible and precautionary manner, as required by law. There are glaring loopholes in the way fish farms are regulated in the province, which multinational corporations are using to expand their operations in a way that allows them to avoid environmental assessment. Wild Atlantic salmon stocks, some of which are already classified as threatened, could be devastated by the Indian Head Hatchery expansion and similar projects.”


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