“The act does not give you discretion to declare that a suspension shall continue ‘until further notice””

editorial staff

Mowi-owned Northern Harvest pushed to renew licences when they were suspended.

CBC reports that Mowi pushed against the government decision to suspend its licenses.

After the mass mortality, where 2.6 million fish died from a climate-related event, affected licences were suspended by Fisheries and Land Resources Gerry Byrne. He said the total numbers were higher than initially reported by the company.

“As a result of the ongoing investigation and evidence of non-compliance, I am suspending all affected Northern Harvest Seafood Farms licences and issuing a directive that requires the company to continue the clean-up of the sites,”said Byrne at the time.

The publication has obtained access to a letter, thanks to a Freedom Of Information request – from Northern Harvest Managing Director Jamie Gaskill.

“Gaskill argued that the province should reinstate the licences because a section of the provincial Aquaculture Act says licences can be suspended only as long as the company is in violation of their conditions. As soon as Northern Harvest reported the deaths, he argued, they were back in compliance,” writes CBC.

In the letter dated Oct. 1, Gaskill told Byrne: “The act does not give you discretion to declare that a suspension shall continue ‘until further notice,'”.

“Our company is solely focused on completing our comprehensive cleanup of all affected sites,” said Northern Harvest in a statement to CBC. “We look forward to discussions with the government in the future about lifting the suspension of the site licences.”

Affected licences are still suspended.


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