Transcript: September 1, 2011 Hearing Transcript


The third Aquaculture Regulatory Panel was comprised of DFO staff and was cross-examined today on subjects that included monitoring, compliance and enforcement. Record keeping, the new federal compliance and enforcement regime and examples of non-compliance of the industry were main topics.

Questioning of Regulatory Panel 3 included discussion about:

  • Some specific self-reporting requirements of the aquaculture industry associated with the new Pacific Aquaculture Regulation (PAR). The Commission’s Policy and Practices Report states inventory, stocking and management plans are confidential and will not be reported by the industry.
  • An early draft of the finfish aquaculture site inspections checklist that would be used when enforcement staff visit a farm.
  • Mr. Atagi’s opinion about his staff size of 11 people. He suggested this number was insufficient to fully monitor the entire aquaculture industry in BC. He remarked that about 32 would be a more appropriate number of personnel and made the recommendation that current staff size should be reviewed.
  • Ticketable offences of aquaculture facilities. The panel could not remember any prior convictions made of any aquaculture facilities regarding any violation. In order to reprimand the industry, legal actions would have to be pursued.
  • Sites that are not in compliance, which are sent letters warning them of non-compliance.
  • The fact that no laws or regulations disallow the presence of disease on farms or the transfer of disease from farms to wild fish.
  • Biosecurity protocols and the point that all companies do not have the same protocols.
  • The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and assessments have not been completed for all farms.
  • Examples of farms that have allegedly impacted the environment including some “fairly bad impacts” as quoted by Kerra Hoyseth.
  • Examples of cuts to stock assessments of wild salmon in contrast to indications that DFO will provide 70 million in funding to enhance the global competitiveness and environmental performance of Canada’s aquaculture industry.
  • An indication that the industry’s compliance with the provincial Finfish Aquaculture Waste Control Regulation has been falling.


Witnesses – Aquaculture:

  • Brian Atagi – Area Chief Aquaculture, Conservation & Protection, DFO
  • Kerra Hoyseth – Senior Aquaculture Biologist, Aquaculture Environmental Operations, DFO
  • Andrew Thomson – Director, Aquaculture Management Directorate, DFO (Pacific Region)


See evidentiary documents page for a listing of key exhibits discussed at the hearings.

News Coverage resulting from September 1st Cohen hearings: List is updated as additional media is published.

  • Times Colonist; September 10, 2011; “DFO in conflict in fish farms”
  • Times Colonist; September 3, 2011; “Fisheries plan alleges confusion and bias in B.C.”