Aquaculture for all

CARR Say No To Net-Cage Salmon Farm

Salmonids Sustainability Technology & equipment +4 more

CANADA - The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) is calling on the Provincial Government to deny Mainstream Canada's tenure application for a new open net-cage salmon farm and ask them to place a permanent suspension on net-cage tenures in British Columbia (BC).

The planned salmon farm will be located in the Clayoquot Sound, a “core aquatic protected area” of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The farm would add around 600,000 more farmed salmon to the protected area, an amount which would put more pressure on a fragile environment.

Net-cage farms are also viewed as being an unsustainable method, which British Columbians are urging to move away from, according to CARR. Therefore, the idea of passing an application that uses unsustainable methods, and which would put pressure on a biosphere reserve, seems ridiculous.

Catherine Stewart, of Living Oceans Society and CAAR, said: “In a world seeking solutions, why does Mainstream Canada want to build another problem? If the Norwegian companies are unwilling to adapt we need our government to step in on behalf of British Columbians to stop the expansion of unsustainable salmon net-cages and push the industry to move into 21st century closed containment”.

Although some parts of Biosphere Reserve remain pristine and untouched by human activity, wild salmon populations are still in decline.

Sampling of wild juvenile salmon in the reserve correlates increases in sea lice levels to the number of salmon farms the out-migrating wild salmon must pass, just like in every other region in B.C. where sea lice sampling on wild juvenile salmon has taken place, CARR said. Clayoquot Sound is also an important feeding ground for resident, as well as migrating, gray whales.

“British Columbians are well-versed in the negative impacts of net-cage salmon farms. Expansion of this technology is illogical and harmful,” said Will Soltau of Living Oceans Society and CAAR.

“We hope everyone, including the businesses that depend on healthy marine ecosystems in the Biosphere Reserve, or other areas will contact their MLA and oppose the granting of this or any tenure for new open net-cage salmon farms.”

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