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Update On Fallow Canadian Farms

CANADA - Seven of nine salmon farms in the Okisollo and Hoskyn channels are lying fallow right now, with re-stocking of fish not expected to begin again until later this year.

This is the second update from the BC Salmon Farmers Association and its members regarding the channels, in response to questions from the public about current status of operations in the area. Okisollo Channel is located just north of Campbell River and is home to five farms: two of Marine Harvest Canada's, two of Mainstream Canada's and one operated by Grieg Seafood. Hoskyn Channel, on the east side of Quadra Island has four Marine Harvest Canada leases.

The Conville Bay site located in Hoskyn Channel, has been sub-leased from Marine Harvest Canada to Grieg Seafood and is now fully stocked. Barnes Bay, Grieg Seafood's site in Okisollo Channel, is currently harvesting, and is expected to be complete next month. Mainstream Canada is now complete its harvest of Venture Point (which was in process during last month's update) - the site is now empty.

That means that two of the nine farms in the area are in operation.

All three companies operating in the area are sharing information with each other about their operations. Our members believe inter-industry co-operation is important to ensure the success of farms and the natural environment they work in. This update is part of an increased effort to share information with the public to answer any questions they might have.

These farms - even when in full operation - do not threaten wild migrating salmon. Sea lice numbers are managed and maintained below regulation levels. The most recent sampling on the farms operating in the area show levels well below the required treatment level of three-motile lice per fish (see table above).

Extensive research also shows that Pacific salmon are resistant to damage from sea lice after they outgrow very early infancy. Sockeye salmon, for example, have well outgrown that risk by the time they're migrating past Campbell River.

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