A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

Talks underway on B.C. salmon farm transition

Amid roundtable discussions, Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech asks for public input

The federal government wants public input on the future of B.C. salmon farming as it launches consultations over the transition of open-net pens from provincial waters.

Throughout February and March Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech will be holding virtual roundtable sessions with B.C. First Nations, the aquaculture industry and environmental stakeholders.

The general public can also share their views with Beech by responding to online questions until March 26.

“As a British Columbian, I know how important the aquaculture sector is to our economy, our workforce, and the sustainability of coastal communities in our province,” Beech said. “The transition from open-net pens will make this vital industry more sustainable and more prosperous in the long-term. I look forward to collaborating with Indigenous communities, the Government of British Columbia, industry members, scientists, and other partners to determine the best path forward on a transition plan that meets the needs of our communities, our workers, and our environment.”

READ MORE: Young B.C. professionals call on Trudeau for salmon-farm supports

Beech will deliver the findings of his consultations and the public feedback to the Minister later this year, which will help guide the next steps in the transition from open-net pens.

The decision to transition the farms follows years of protest from wild salmon advocates who worry open-net pens act as reservoirs of pathogens and sea lice that can spread freely to migrating juvenile salmon.

Recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada risk assessments in the Discovery Islands found the impacts were below critical thresholds, but Jordan has nonetheless been given the mandate to develop a transition plan for B.C. open-net pen farms by 2025.

READ MORE: Ottawa eyes B.C. coastline for new economic vision

She previously told Black Press Media she expects salmon aquaculture to play a big role in the Blue Economy Strategy, currently under development, which aims to position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, ocean-based industries.

There are several alternatives to open-net pens, including contained and semi-contained systems, offshore systems, land-based systems and hybrid systems at sea and on land.

Conservation groups have pushed for land-based systems, but industry has resisted the option, saying the costs and environmental footprint would be prohibitive.

Click here for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s online public engagement.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Just Posted

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered from Ladysmith harbour

The remains of a 60 year old woman were recovered after a boat fire took her life on Feb. 27

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains a reminder of culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Vancouver Island MLA put in charge of B.C.’s police act reform

Routley considers role of police with respect to UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A rendering of the new Nanaimo Correctional Centre. (IBI Group Architects image)
Designs come in for Nanaimo’s new $157-million jail

Nanaimo Correctional Centre being rebuilt at its current location

Dozens of reports of sexualized violence against a former employee of downtown Victoria restaurant Chuck’s Burger Bar were posted online in January. A police investigation is ongoing. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Chuck’s Burger Bar in Victoria closes doors after sexual assault allegations

Victoria police investigating reports of sexual misconduct, assault by former restaurant employee

Most Read