December 14, 2018
Regarding: Recommendations for Finfish Aquaculture in the Broughton Archipelago
“On behalf of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF), I commend the Province of British Columbia and three First Nations’, in consultation with industry representatives, for the consensus recommendations 'Collaborative Solutions for Finfish Aquaculture in the Broughton Area.'
Clearly, extensive time, thought and energy went into these detailed consensus recommendations. It is very encouraging to see progress being made in this region, particularly given the long-standing and well documented concerns around sea-lice and risks of disease between open-net pen aquaculture and wild Pacific salmon. It is clear that an incremental, phased approach will unfold, and this is prudent given the many stakeholders and interests that must be respected. I was particularly pleased to see that the findings of the Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture were a source of guidance for the consensus recommendations, as that was a highly consultative process that integrated many scientific, economic, environmental and cultural viewpoints on this issue. Respect for First Nations’ in the region, collaboration between all parties, and inclusion of an independent monitoring program are notable achievements!
Coupled with this announcement, PSF was also very pleased to see the announcement earlier this week by federal fisheries minister Jonathan Wilkinson announcing new steps in response to concerns that PSF and others have raised about potential impacts to wild salmon from farms located on wild salmon migration routes. We applaud the federal government's announcement of a new British Columbia Salmon Fisheries Innovation Fund and related plans to study alternative technologies for aquaculture, including land and sea-based closed containment technology.
PSF recommended earlier this year that British Columbia and Canada must put wild Pacific salmon first by moving to closed-containment salmon aquaculture. We took this position based on the results of our own research to date and the reduced abundance of most wild Pacific salmon. During the transition in this Broughton Agreement, everything possible should be done to improve the assessment of the risks to wild Pacific salmon, including through the work of the PSF Strategic Salmon Health Initiative that is being done in partnership with PSF, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Genome BC.”
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