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Cermaq takes legal action against DFO to challenge licence denials

Cermaq Canada is challenging in court DFO’s recent denial of two fish farm transfer and license extensions.

“After much careful consideration, earlier this week Cermaq took further legal action to challenge the recent denial of Brent Island and Venture Point transfer applications and license extensions,” reads a statement from David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada.

RELATED: Discovery Island fish farms not allowed to restock

Cermaq is concerned that it does not allow the “humane grow out” of the fishes’ life cycle, which will “hinder the delivery of shared value to rural, coastal communities,” particularly due to the pandemic.

Last week DFO denied an application by Cermaq to restock and extend their licences.

“A number of the First Nations consulted continue to strongly oppose salmon aquaculture in this area, and expressed those views during the consultations, notably for reasons related to the conservation and protection of wild salmon stocks and for social and cultural reasons,” read the response to the applications from Rebecca Reid, regional director for DFO’s Pacific Region.

Other First Nations groups, including the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance called the DFO decision “very welcome.”

However, Kiemele says it will have “long-reaching social and financial implications for employees and dozens of local, independent suppliers, contractors, businesses, and service providers.”

Cermaq will be continuing to work with the We Wai Kum First Nation, and will not be commenting on the matter further since it is before the courts.

RELATED: Judge grants injunction to restock two B.C. salmon farms

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Marc Kitteringham

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