A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

Talks underway on B.C. salmon farm transition

Amid roundtable discussions, Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech asks for public input

The federal government wants public input on the future of B.C. salmon farming as it launches consultations over the transition of open-net pens from provincial waters.

Throughout February and March Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech will be holding virtual roundtable sessions with B.C. First Nations, the aquaculture industry and environmental stakeholders.

The general public can also share their views with Beech by responding to online questions until March 26.

“As a British Columbian, I know how important the aquaculture sector is to our economy, our workforce, and the sustainability of coastal communities in our province,” Beech said. “The transition from open-net pens will make this vital industry more sustainable and more prosperous in the long-term. I look forward to collaborating with Indigenous communities, the Government of British Columbia, industry members, scientists, and other partners to determine the best path forward on a transition plan that meets the needs of our communities, our workers, and our environment.”

READ MORE: Young B.C. professionals call on Trudeau for salmon-farm supports

Beech will deliver the findings of his consultations and the public feedback to the Minister later this year, which will help guide the next steps in the transition from open-net pens.

The decision to transition the farms follows years of protest from wild salmon advocates who worry open-net pens act as reservoirs of pathogens and sea lice that can spread freely to migrating juvenile salmon.

Recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada risk assessments in the Discovery Islands found the impacts were below critical thresholds, but Jordan has nonetheless been given the mandate to develop a transition plan for B.C. open-net pen farms by 2025.

READ MORE: Ottawa eyes B.C. coastline for new economic vision

She previously told Black Press Media she expects salmon aquaculture to play a big role in the Blue Economy Strategy, currently under development, which aims to position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, ocean-based industries.

There are several alternatives to open-net pens, including contained and semi-contained systems, offshore systems, land-based systems and hybrid systems at sea and on land.

Conservation groups have pushed for land-based systems, but industry has resisted the option, saying the costs and environmental footprint would be prohibitive.

Click here for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s online public engagement.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read