Province expected to extend fish farm licenses another 4 years

An announcement on future of 20 fish farms off B.C. coast coming Wednesday afternoon

A critical decision from the provincial government on the future of aquaculture in B.C. waters is expected today.

According to one report, the provincial government “is expected to announce that provincial tenures covering 20 salmon farms, which expire today, will be renewed on a month-to-month basis for the next four years.”

With the licences for 20 fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago expiring today, the decision would buy salmon farming companies time to gain approval from First Nations for their operations – or else get the boot from B.C. coastal waters.

READ MORE: Campbell River protesters want fish farms stopped

The report cited unnamed sources indicating that B.C. will have new requirements for fish farms beginning in June 2022, with First Nations support required for facilities to operate anywhere in the coastal region.

The province will also reportedly “require formal confirmation from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans that the open-net pens don’t endanger wild salmon.”

The BC Salmon Farmers Association has said that month-to-month operations are normal when consultations are underway.

READ MORE: Fish farms to remain for at least two months

The presence of Atlantic salmon farms is a divisive issue, with many environmentalists and First Nations saying the facilities are destroying wild salmon stocks with disease. Indigenous leaders have also said that salmon farms are operating in their territories without their consent.

Supporters of the industry argue that farmed salmon take the pressure off wild stocks, and cite economic benefits generated by the operations. The BC Salmon Farming Association has said that 6,600 jobs result directly or indirectly from salmon farming. And many fish farms have support from First Nations.

Last week, Premier John Horgan announced a 14-member advisory council to study the state of wild salmon on the B.C. coast. The news elicited skepticism from some critics, who said the government was delaying action on shutting down fish farms.

Horgan indicated that salmon farms are the responsibility of Ottawa but that Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham would have more to say the topic soon.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stevenson pushes Eagles past Vipers

Surrey 2 Vernon 1 in overtime at Bauer Showcase

Birds being fed in Vernon parking lot not a great idea

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

BX Falls Trail closed for sedimentation removal

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 25, the RDNO will be closing the lower section of BX Falls Trail.

Vernon fourth in Royal Rumble volleyball

20-team Douglas College volleyball tourney

Retired Vernon broadcaster ‘a common sense’ choice for council

Gord Leighton, a former Prince George councillor, is seeking a seat on Vernon council

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Village Gallery welcomes Erin Foggoa

Erin Foggoa’s work is on display throughout September and October

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Most Read