The government department regulating aquaculture in Canada says the approval it granted to Cermaq Canada that allows it to amend operations in Clayoquot Sound, BC, will actually result to a reduced production for the salmon producer.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said in an email to SalmonBusiness on Tuesday that Cermaq’s overall licenced production limits in the North Clayoquot area have actually been reduced by 2,000 tons.
DFO was responding to an inquiry by SalmonBusiness last Friday asking confirmation of activists’ claim that Cermaq is expanding production.
“The total allowable production across all six sites operating at any given times will now be capped at 13,860 tonnes, 2,000 tonnes less than the previous allowable total licenced production of 15,840 tonnes,” a DFO spokeswoman said.
The agency also said that the Cermaq is allowed to stock only single-year class of fish in its farms in northern Clayoquot Sound so that the pens are “emptied in a coordinated manner.”
“This can improve effective fish health management and outcomes. These new tools and strategies will result in improved management. The Department expects to see improved outcomes from this approach, which can then be used to inform future management,” the spokeswoman said.
As for the activists’ accusations that the Canadian government is backpedalling on its “promise to phase out open-net salmon farms,” DFO asserted that work on that plan is underway.
“The Government of Canada is fully committed to developing a plan to transition away from open-net pen salmon aquaculture in British Colombia,” the spokeswoman said.