funding for wild salmon

Budget 2021: Funding for salmon farms

It has been a year since the The Campbell River Business Recovery Task Force described fish farms as one of the city’s three key first dollar industries. Mayor Andy Adams said they are Campbell River’s largest economic driver. This is also a sector being phased out over the course of the next year. In the last of a series about the 2021 Federal Budget, North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney talks about funding for salmon farms

photo credit: Parliament Hill in Ottawa by tsaiproject via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Sea lice’s impact on wild salmon 

She began by acknowledging that indigenous communities and wild salmon stewards have been raising concerns about sea lice from fish farms for some time. 

“Recently, in the fisheries and oceans committee, I was reading some pretty powerful testimony about the impact sea lice is having on wild salmon stock. We have to recognize that,” saiid Blaney. 

Funding for salmon farms

That said, prior to this budget $55.5 billion was already allocated to a sustainable aquaculture program. 

“That is something that is being worked out with the Parliamentary Officer for the DFO, Terry Beech. He promised that this Spring he would have a report that would talk about what sustainable aquaculture would look like into the future. We are still waiting for that.” 

“In this budget, the 2021 budget, another $20 million over the next two years was designated for more engagement work, support for Indigenous communities, communities at large, the industry and looking into how the sector can move forward. Of course there is also another $3 million invested, for the next two years, to look at pilot area based management approaches to planning management and monitoring activities of aquaculture on the BC coast.”

What is the plan?

“So there are some resources coming, but what we really need to see is what is the plan?”

The government is currently meeting with industry, communities and indigenous leaders. 

 “We need to see some support for people as we go through this transition and, of course, I have been a longstanding advocate for closed containment so we don’t lose those aquaculture jobs, they just have a period of time when they transition into something else.

Links of Interest:

Top photo courtesy Ian Roberts of Marine Harvest Canada (2016)

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