Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office said that Mowi’s intention to cull fish is unfortunate but the government is not directing the company to take this option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office said that Mowi’s intention to cull fish is unfortunate but the government is not directing the company to take this option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Feds says they are not on the hook for Mowi decision to cull 2.6 million farmed fish

DFO says it has not ordered the cull nor denied transfer to other sites

The federal government says it has not asked Mowi to cull fish or stopped them from transferring smolts to other sites the aquaculture company has in the province.

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office issued a statement in response to Mowi’s claim earlier this week that the Dec. 17 federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery fish farms within 18 months might lead to 2.6 million smolts being culled from their Vancouver Island hatcheries if they were unable to find a home for them.

READ MORE: Mowi backtracks on fish cull losses – 8.3 million to 2.6 million

Calling the company’s decision to cull fish as “unfortunate,” the minister’s office also said that there were no federal regulations stopping the company from transferring these smolts to other farm sites that the company manages in the region.

Mowi has about 27 sites in the region. Of that, nine to 10 farms near the Discovery Islands will be phased out owing to Jordan’s decision to shut them down after consulting seven First Nations who hold title in the area.

“Mowi’s stated intention to cull fish is unfortunate, but the government is not directing the company to take this action. While the Minister has indicated her intention that transfers into the Discovery Islands of new finfish will no longer be possible, DFO has not denied a request to transfer of these fish to Mowi’s many other aquaculture sites,” said Jordan’s office in an email statement to the Mirror.

On Feb.10, Mowi said that the decisions by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan were “unreasonable” and left them no time to plan for alternative locations for these fish.

In response to the aquaculture firms saying that the 18-months grace period to phase fish farms was too short a time to plan their five-year processing cycle, the minister’s office said that the licenses were always subject to yearly renewals since the past ten years and “always with the understanding that a decision would be made by the end of 2020.”

Jordan’s office also said the decision to phase out the fish farms was made after much consultation with the First Nations in the area.

“In 2021, Canadians expect First Nations to have a say in what economic activity occurs on their territory. These pens were not the right fit for the area.”

READ ALSO: Discovery Islands salmon farms on their way out

Fish Farms

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

Just Posted

Jean Latval (left) and Elinor Turrill. (File photos)
Lumby community pillars to be honoured with commemorative bench

GoFundMe launched to help raise $2,500 to memorialize Jean Latval and Elinor Turnil

Life and Faith columnist Jim Taylor outlines some helpful tips for a fruitful conversation. (Lexi Bainas - Gazette file)
Taylor: Guidelines for discussions

Jim Taylor says don’t rely on external authorities in conversations with others

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz is the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s newest member of its Downtown Enforcement Unit. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP add new downtown unit member

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz joins Downtown Enforcement Unit for rural north operations

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

Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

(Courtesy of West Kelowna Fire Rescue)
West Kelowna structure fire results in death of pets, injured firefighter

Crews arrived at the Ponderosa Rd. home to find the rear of the building engulfed in flames

Lisa Jilg is pictured at her store with signs requesting the donation of items for those struggling with mental health challenges, and those experiencing homelessness. (Contributed)
‘He just wanted to be accepted’: Okanagan mother opens up about son’s fatal overdose

Judgment toward those with mental health challenges needs to stop, says West Kelowna mother

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Most Read