Media Release: Conservationists applaud salmon farm recommendations from First Nation and B.C. governments

It’s the beginning of the end of salmon farms in B.C.’s Broughton Archipelago

VICTORIA—Watershed Watch Salmon Society, a science-based conservation charity, commends First Nations and the provincial government for providing a 5-year roadmap to remove salmon farms from the Broughton Archipelago, an important migration route for wild salmon. Salmon farms are known to spread harmful parasites to wild salmon as they migrate past the farms, and have other serious impacts on coastal fish and wildlife. The recommendations call for the removal of six salmon farm sites in the short-term and the removal of an additional 11 farms over the next five years.

“What a holiday present for all people who value B.C.’s wild salmon. This plan is a major step toward addressing the impacts of salmon farming on our coast,” says Dr. Craig Orr, conservation advisor for Watershed Watch Salmon Society.

“It is apparent from the recommendations that the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations negotiated hard and came to joint recommendations with provincial government representatives that will protect wild salmon and the Broughton Archipelago ecosystem from the disease, parasite and pollution impacts from the salmon farming industry. “

After 20 years of witnessing the impacts of salmon farms on B.C.’s coastal ecosystems, Watershed Watch was delighted to provide scientific and technical support to the Broughton area First Nations, who have never consented to the operation of open net-pen salmon farms in their territories.

Watershed Watch is particularly pleased to see the recommendations include an Indigenous Monitoring and Inspection Plan (IMIP) that will include virus, disease and parasite monitoring of salmon farms during the phase-out period. The IMIP increases the transparency of the industry’s operations during the removal process, and ensures the plan remains on schedule.

“I’m proud to stand with Broughton First Nations and provide technical support for their plan to remove harmful salmon farms from their traditional territories, once and for all,” says Stan Proboszcz, Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s science advisor.

The joint recommendations call on the provincial and federal government and the salmon farming industry to support the removal of these farms by providing capacity and support to the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations.

Watershed Watch commends the provincial government for their role in developing the plan and encourages the federal government to quickly follow suit and  do their part.

“This is only the beginning,” says Proboszcz. “Salmon farms in other areas like the Discovery Islands and the West coast of Vancouver Island are still a threat to B.C.’s wild fish. First Nations and citizens across B.C. have been clear that this dirty industry has no place in our shared waters.”

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Contacts:

Dr. Craig Orr, Conservation Advisor, Watershed Watch Salmon Society (604) 809-2799 corr@telus.net

Stan Proboszcz, M.Sc., Science Advisor, Watershed Watch Salmon Society, (604) 314-2713 proboszcz@watershed-watch.org

 

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