B.C. government releases advisory council report on finfish aquaculture

Moratorium on new fish farm tenures will remain while government reviews report’s recommendations

A moratorium on issuing new tenures for finfish aquaculture will remain in place while the province considers the recommendations in a newly-released report put out by the Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture (MAACFA)

“It’s a very difficult issue, there’s a lot of varying opinions,” Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham said in a teleconference with provincial media, “and I think the report is substantial and will give us a lot to work with.”

The advisory council was formed in 2016 by the province to provide strategic advice and policy guidance to the Minister of Agriculture about the future, and issuance, of new Crown-land tenures for marine-based salmon aquaculture in British Columbia. The members of MAACFA included representatives from the aquaculture industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, First Nations and federal and provincial government officials.

The minister said the government has been studying the report and its recommendations since it was completed in January. The council met 12 times between July 2016 and January 2018 when the report was handed in.

The minister acknowledged that the issue of fish farms on the B.C. coast has been “quite contentious” for the past 30 years and that the recommendations in the report reflect a number of viewpoints.

“I think it’s very important from our end to make sure we have the right processes in place, take the time that’s needed for an outcome that is acceptable to everyone and when it comes down to science, obviously, we will let the scientists do their work but they will have a big part to play,” the minister said.

Related: Province continues to meet with First Nations on Fish Farm issues

The council worked over the past 18 months to complete the report, which provides strategic, immediate and long-term recommendations.

They are grouped into six themes:

* Salmon farm locations

* Aboriginal rights and title

* Marine planning and community engagement

* Pathogens and disease

* Alternate technologies and approaches

* Transparency and information gaps

The report recommends policy changes by both the B.C. government and the Government of Canada, some of which require new funding to implement.

The province is releasing the report to allow for public review, and to enable consultation with Indigenous peoples, the aquaculture industry and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The report recommends further consideration of implications, risks and benefits.

The council was provided with background on salmon farming (regulatory regime, operational arrangements and research and health developments) and presentations on finfish aquaculture issues. The council’s meeting minutes are also available on the MAACFA webpage.

Learn More:

Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/fisheries-and-aquaculture/minister-of-agriculture-s-advisory-council-on-finfish-aquaculture

Just Posted

Earth Day planting supports wetland habitats

Earthwise invites locals to join project restoring delicate area

Letter: One Dump Truck Too Many!

There is something going on in our town (oh! I mean, just… Continue reading

Fraser Health patients to see 23% more knee, hip replacement surgeries

First-available surgeon approach will reduce waitlists, B.C. health minister says

Proper engagement needed for quarry development: expert

Impact on residents, species should be communicated, evaluated

Wildlife centre operator concerned about leg-hold traps

Elizabeth Melnick of Abbotsford says contraptions are injuring innocent animals

VIDEO: Harrison gets uncorked at wine festival

Locally prepared food was paired with a wide variety of wines at the Saturday fundraiser

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

UPDATE: 83-year-old convicted murderer back in custody

RCMP have captured Ralph Whitfield Morris who escaped from Mission Institution

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Municipal election loophole will be fixed, premier says

Union, corporate donations still allowed for slate party ‘operational’ needs

Most Read