Factory salmon farms ramp up lobbying of federal Fisheries officials

May 14, 2024

By: Stan Proboszcz

We decided to check out rumours that Ottawa is being inundated with salmon farming lobbyists. Sure enough, it appears salmon farm industry lobbying skyrocketed in 2022.

That’s the year that Phase 1 of the government’s consultations on transitioning salmon farms from B.C. was in full swing, following the prime minister’s 2019 promise to transition open net-pen salmon farms out of B.C. coastal waters. That same year, federal salmon farm licences were due for renewal and 17 farms were removed from the Discovery Islands, ridding another large swath of our coast of the viruses, parasites and bacteria the farms were spewing into the wild salmon migration route.

As public pressure has mounted on federal Fisheries officials to remove the remaining factory salmon farms from our waters, industry lobbying has gone off the charts. To put it into context, in 2010 there were eight reported lobbying interactions by industry proponents and in 2015 there were 12. In 2022, following the prime minister’s promise and a mandate letter to the fisheries minister, there were 199. Last year, there were 214.

In the first three months of this year, there have been over 50 communications reported to the federal Lobby Register. 

What influence will this increased lobbying have on policy decisions like the federal promise to transition salmon farms from B.C. by 2025? 

The final report from the Cohen Commission released in 2012 and more recently a parliamentary standing committee report both raised red flags about a pro-salmon farming bias within DFO, which is responsible for both regulating the industry and for promoting it as an economic asset. It’s a conflict of interest that the chairman of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance Bob Chamberlin, has likened to “marking your own homework.”

A draft transition plan due last year was delayed until this spring. We’re expecting to see a draft transition plan anytime now. Federal licences are again up for renewal this June – a prime opportunity to start an orderly transition.

We need to be louder than the salmon farm lobby, so please take a second to write your member of parliament and urge them to get the remaining factory fish farms out of B.C. 

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Factory salmon farms ramp up lobbying of federal Fisheries officials

May 14, 2024

By: Stan Proboszcz

We decided to check out rumours that Ottawa is being inundated with salmon farming lobbyists. Sure enough, it appears salmon farm industry lobbying skyrocketed in 2022.

That’s the year that Phase 1 of the government’s consultations on transitioning salmon farms from B.C. was in full swing, following the prime minister’s 2019 promise to transition open net-pen salmon farms out of B.C. coastal waters. That same year, federal salmon farm licences were due for renewal and 17 farms were removed from the Discovery Islands, ridding another large swath of our coast of the viruses, parasites and bacteria the farms were spewing into the wild salmon migration route.

As public pressure has mounted on federal Fisheries officials to remove the remaining factory salmon farms from our waters, industry lobbying has gone off the charts. To put it into context, in 2010 there were eight reported lobbying interactions by industry proponents and in 2015 there were 12. In 2022, following the prime minister’s promise and a mandate letter to the fisheries minister, there were 199. Last year, there were 214.

In the first three months of this year, there have been over 50 communications reported to the federal Lobby Register. 

What influence will this increased lobbying have on policy decisions like the federal promise to transition salmon farms from B.C. by 2025? 

The final report from the Cohen Commission released in 2012 and more recently a parliamentary standing committee report both raised red flags about a pro-salmon farming bias within DFO, which is responsible for both regulating the industry and for promoting it as an economic asset. It’s a conflict of interest that the chairman of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance Bob Chamberlin, has likened to “marking your own homework.”

A draft transition plan due last year was delayed until this spring. We’re expecting to see a draft transition plan anytime now. Federal licences are again up for renewal this June – a prime opportunity to start an orderly transition.

We need to be louder than the salmon farm lobby, so please take a second to write your member of parliament and urge them to get the remaining factory fish farms out of B.C. 

Share This Story!

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One Comment

  1. Patricia May 18, 2024 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Let’s make sure Trudeau holds his promise to rid our ocean waterways of those filthy, disease f8lled net pens, they are destroy8ng our pristine waters and mak8ng our wild salmon sick and dying. The sea lice are kill8ng our baby salmon before they 3ven get a chance to get out of the mouths of the creeks and ,streams and rivers where they were born before they are liked by the sea lice and more!

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