Land-based fish farms are a ‘dead horse,’ says BC wild salmon advocate

Land-based fish farms are a “dead horse”, and British Columbia’s farmed salmon industry should be removed from the discussions between the federal government and coastal communities that will be affected by the transition of the industry away from open-net pens.

These were thoughts expressed by anti-salmon farming activist and wild salmon advocate Alexandra Morton to local news outlet MyCowichanNow on Thursday.

Morton did not elaborate on whether she was against the idea of land-based salmon farms, but she told the paper that not many people are interested in this type of farm.

Read also: Animal welfare groups get cold feet over land-based salmon farming

Recognizing that transitioning the industry away from open-net pen farming will affect some coastal communities, particularly Indigenous communities, Morton said the federal government should find out the needs of these communities in order to help them.

But “cut the salmon farmers out of this discussion. They really don’t belong in the middle of this discussion,” she was quoted as saying.

She said displaced communities would be able to make a living from wild salmon fishery, which she claimed has been a very generous resource throughout history. This might be possible through a new technology development in the DFO, she suggested.

“There’s this extraordinary science that’s trying to grow within the DFO, called genomic profiling, [that] reads the immune system of fish,” she told the paper. “If we really wanted to turn on wild fish again, we would read their immune system at various places around the coast and we could learn exactly what is harming these fish.”


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