Grieg Seafood BC is wrapping up its salmon farming operations on the lands of the shíshálh Nation, an indigenous community in British Columbia, and is now seeking new sites that are better suited to fish farming.
The First Nation chose to remove salmon farms from their territory and the company respects that, it said. “We honor their right to self-determine what aquaculture development they choose for themselves.”
For years, Grieg Seafood has had eight sites in the traditional territory, which is near the Sunshine Coast of BC. Six of the eight have been inactive for several years now because they were on relatively shallow locations with warmer water temperatures and higher salinity.
It said it has now completed harvesting the last two active sites and it expects the decommissioning of those farms to finish by early next year.
“This work is in line with Grieg’s ongoing process of site restructuring, where the company seeks to develop sites that are well suited for salmon farming, and phase out older and smaller sites with more challenging biological conditions. The aim of this process is to improve both the environmental footprint and fish welfare, while also reducing costs,” the company said.
It added that the move will not result to anyone losing their job and the company’s production volume targets will not be impacted.
“As a company, Grieg shares the concern for declining wild salmon populations and is committed to farm with the lowest possible impact and to continuously improve its operations. The company is developing new farming technologies that reduce interactions between farmed and wild salmon and is engaged in wild salmon enhancement projects together with First Nations partners.”