Province expected to extend fish farm licenses another 4 years

An announcement on future of 20 fish farms off B.C. coast coming Wednesday afternoon

A critical decision from the provincial government on the future of aquaculture in B.C. waters is expected today.

According to one report, the provincial government “is expected to announce that provincial tenures covering 20 salmon farms, which expire today, will be renewed on a month-to-month basis for the next four years.”

With the licences for 20 fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago expiring today, the decision would buy salmon farming companies time to gain approval from First Nations for their operations – or else get the boot from B.C. coastal waters.

READ MORE: Campbell River protesters want fish farms stopped

The report cited unnamed sources indicating that B.C. will have new requirements for fish farms beginning in June 2022, with First Nations support required for facilities to operate anywhere in the coastal region.

The province will also reportedly “require formal confirmation from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans that the open-net pens don’t endanger wild salmon.”

The BC Salmon Farmers Association has said that month-to-month operations are normal when consultations are underway.

READ MORE: Fish farms to remain for at least two months

The presence of Atlantic salmon farms is a divisive issue, with many environmentalists and First Nations saying the facilities are destroying wild salmon stocks with disease. Indigenous leaders have also said that salmon farms are operating in their territories without their consent.

Supporters of the industry argue that farmed salmon take the pressure off wild stocks, and cite economic benefits generated by the operations. The BC Salmon Farming Association has said that 6,600 jobs result directly or indirectly from salmon farming. And many fish farms have support from First Nations.

Last week, Premier John Horgan announced a 14-member advisory council to study the state of wild salmon on the B.C. coast. The news elicited skepticism from some critics, who said the government was delaying action on shutting down fish farms.

Horgan indicated that salmon farms are the responsibility of Ottawa but that Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham would have more to say the topic soon.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 4: Recap

Results and highlights from day 4 at the 2019 All Native Basketball Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 3: Recap

Highlights from around Day 3 of the tournament

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Most Read