Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Judge grants injunction to restock two B.C. salmon farms

1.2 million hatchery fish about to be euthanized

A Federal Court judge has granted an injunction to allow restocking of two salmon farms on the B.C. coast with young fish, after 19 were ordered closed by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan by June 2022.

The decision allows Mowi Canada West to restock two operations in the Discovery Islands, as a separate court action by Mowi, Cermaq Canada, Grieg Seafood and Saltstream continues over the abrupt decision to shut down aquaculture in the region after 30 years. Saltstream operates a third farm for Chinook salmon rather than Atlantic salmon, and is also covered by the injunction.

“The harm to Mowi and Saltstream, as well as their employees, their families and other businesses in the community, in particular First Nations businesses, will be real and substantial if the injunction is not granted, and if Mowi and Saltstream are not permitted to proceed with the transfer of fish they require to undertake as part of their operations,” Justice Peter George Pamel wrote in a decision released April 5.

Dean Dobrinsky, human resources director for Mowi Canada West, said the company still has to apply to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to do the transfer of more than 1.2 million fish that would otherwise have to be euthanized.

“We have two sites, one at Port Elizabeth and one at Larsen Island that presently have nursery fish that we need to transfer,” Dobrinsky said in an interview April 6. “What it means is the minister in making the decision on the transfer licence has to go back and basically look at the science.”

RELATED: Coastal communities ‘blindsided’ by decision, MPs say

RELATED: Island mayors say they weren’t consulted on closure

Homalco Chief Darren Blaney, representing one of seven area Indigenous communities consulted over the closure and an ocean aquaculture opponent, issued a statement after the ruling, emphasizing that permission for the transfer is still needed.

“The minister must consult and accommodate those seven First Nations in the Discovery Islands regarding any applications for the fish farms at Doctor Bay, Phillips Arm and Hardwicke,” Blaney said.

Dobrinsky said Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists did what the Cohen Commission recommended, and reviewed the risk of salmon farms on sockeye salmon migration routes through the region.

“The nine-year study found that there was less than minimal risk from the farms to the wild Fraser River sockeye,” Dobrinsky said. “And then the minister added what appears to be additional conditions, which were this notion of social acceptance. That was a new set of conditions that we’ve never operate under.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsSalmon farming

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

New HousingHub financing funds will encourage developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read