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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Capitals traded defenceman Clark Webster to his hometown Summerside Western Capitals. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Hopeful Cowichan Capitals make flurry of deadline deals

Roster bolstered in case BCHL season gets go-ahead

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Duncan initiates pilot project to deal with graffiti

Project based on a successful one in Port Alberni

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

Most Read