Salmon farmers slam Canadian government’s transition plan

Editorial Staff

The BC Salmon Farmers Association has expressed disappointment following the announcement by Canadian Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier of a five-year extension for transitioning netpen salmon farms in British Columbia to closed-containment systems.

The new deadline, set for June 30, 2029, delays the initial 2025 target established by the Liberal Party in 2019.

The transition period, they argue, hinders future investments and participation in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) Transition Plan, impacting coastal communities reliant on the sector.

Brian Kingzett, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, emphasized the sector’s vital role in Canada’s economy and food security, stating that political conditions on licenses create uncertainty and jeopardize agreements with First Nations.

“Salmon farming in BC has been a vital sector contributing significantly to Canada’s economy and food security,” said Kingzett. “However, the political conditions on the licences increase the uncertainty for aquaculture in BC and Canada. This focus on unproven technology jeopardizes the sector’s ability to fulfill agreements with rights-holder First Nations and will cause further harm to our communities.”

Kingzett called for longer-term stability to repair damage from a 40 percent sector decline and to support Canada’s Blue Economy.

“We have worked tirelessly over the past few years and have submitted thousands of pages of documents to the federal government to show our commitment to this process. We remain dedicated to advocating for the long-term viability of the salmon farming sector in British Columbia,” says Kingzett. “We hope to find solutions that balance economic development, environmental sustainability, and social well-being.”


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