The B.C. government is taking steps to transition to a sustainable aquaculture industry that respects wild salmon, embraces reconciliation with First Nations and protects jobs.
- This includes a new provincewide policy for tenure renewals relevant to open-net pen fish farms.
- The policy states that effective June 2022, the Province will grant tenures only to fish farm operators who have:
- satisfied Fisheries and Oceans Canada that their operations will not adversely impact wild salmon stocks; and
- negotiated agreements with the First Nations in whose territory they propose to operate.
- The new policy provides clarity on the salmon farming tenure process, establishing key criteria for tenures moving forward past 2022.
Salmon aquaculture in the Broughton Archipelago
- In June 2018, the B.C. government signed a letter of uderstanding with three First Nations within the Broughton Archipelago on a decision-making process for the fish farms in that region.
- In December 2018, a groundbreaking government-to-government process delivered recommendations, with the support of the salmon farming companies, to protect and restore wild salmon stocks that will:
- allow for an orderly transition plan of 17 farms from the Broughton area between 2019 and 2023;
- establish a farm-free migration corridor in the Broughton Archipelago in the short term to help reduce harm to wild salmon; and
- develop a First Nations-led monitoring and inspection program to oversee those farms during the transition, which will include compliance requirements and corrective measures.
- The Province, First Nations and industry are committed to working with the federal government to implement the recommendations, which will create a more sustainable future for local communities and workers.
The Wild Salmon Advisory Committee
- The B.C. government appointed the Wild Salmon Advisory Committee (WSAC), made up of 14 British Columbians with diverse backgrounds and knowledge bases.
- The committee is providing government with strategic advice on a broad range of policy issues affecting wild salmon and is assisting in the development of a strategy to support restoring healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks in B.C.
- The advice informed an options paper that WSAC has taken forward for public engagement. Based on that input, a report with final recommendations is expected in early 2019 and will be provided to the legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food.