Tag Archives: Discovery Island fish farms

Fish farm giant Mowi suing fisheries ministers, taxpayers for Discovery Islands closures

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An international aquaculture giant is suing two former Canadian fisheries ministers for alleged damages from a federal decision to close fish farms in B.C.’s Discovery Islands region.

Mowi Canada West, a subsidiary of the Norwegian seafood company, filed a civil suit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in March against the Canadian government that personally names former fisheries ministers Bernadette Jordan and Joyce Murray. 

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The Quadra Project: Salmon Farming in Perspective

The salmon farming industry in BC is once again challenging the authority of the Minister of Fisheries to make decisions about whether or not its feedlots should continue to be located in open ocean settings. Their first successful court challenge overturned Minister Bernadette Jordan’s 2020 decision to close down open-net operations. Now, in 2023, Minister Joyce Murray’s similar decision is also being challenged. For perspective, this challenge invites a review of the history of salmon farming in BC’s waters.

When corporate salmon farming arrived in a relatively pristine British Columbia, the marine wilderness was already occupied by many native species. The farms were totally incongruous with this ecology, and immediately found themselves in conflict with the seals, sea lions, orcas, whales, eagles, osprey, mink, otters and kingfishers. The result was carnage to wildlife as the farmers tried to defend their salmon from a traditional food that had always been available to the natural predators.

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Fisheries and Oceans Canada faces deluge of calls to improve ‘suspect’ science

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is being flooded with calls for change after a parliamentary committee examined how the federal agency conducts, interprets and acts on its own science. 

The investigation ended with 49 recommendations to address concerns about how DFO science is presented to the fisheries minister and the public before important political decisions are made — particularly those involving B.C. salmon farms or commercial fisheries on either coast. 

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Report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

Originally published by the Parliament of Canada

On 1 February 2022, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (the Committee) agreed to undertake a study to “examine how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans prioritizes, resources and develops scientific studies and advice for the department, how the results of scientific study are communicated to the Minister and Canadians, and how the minister applies data and advice provided by the department and other government departments to ministerial decisions.”The Committee heard from 57 witnesses over nine meetings held between 26 April 2022 and 7 October 2022.

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DFO Decision: Discovery Island Fish Farms remain closed

According to the Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) press release of February 18, 2022, “There are multiple stressors on wild salmon, including: climate change; habitat degradation and destruction; regulated fishing as well as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Given the state of Wild Pacific Salmon, the Government of Canada is taking a highly precautionary approach to manage Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the Discovery Islands area.”

Licenses for the 15 remaining fish farms in this region will not be reissued.

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