“It’s an environmental disaster,” said Bonny Glambeck, director of Clayoquot Action, a Tofino-based environmental group that monitors fish farms. “The outbreak will have a serious impact on wild salmon runs.”
New whale watching regulations, as well as recreational fishery closures, make for good PR for the government as protectors of whales and distracts the public from the issues that will surely be the death sentence for the residents, such as continuation of open net-pen salmon farming.
Union of BC Municipalities Vote to Reject Open Net-pen Salmon Farms
Conservationists applaud mayors, councillors, and regional directors for defending B.C.’s wild salmon
Whistler, BC – Today at the annual meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities in Whistler, representatives of communities across B.C. voted against open-net fish farms.
Resolution A2, brought by the City of Victoria and endorsed in April by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities , urges the Province to begin the consultation process for a transition from open net-pen salmon farming to safer land-based salmon aquaculture.
“This vote clearly demonstrates that British Columbians and their elected local governments value wild salmon and the wild salmon economy over open-net fish farms,” says Stan Proboszcz, science advisor for Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “It’s time for the Province and the federal government to take action and get the farms out of the water.”
After new legislation passed last month in Washington state, B.C. is now the only place on the west coast of North America allowing open-net Atlantic salmon farming. Conservation groups are calling on the provincial and federal governments to take similar action here.
The Canadian Pension Plan is one of the top 10 investors in the Norwegian salmon farming company Marine Harvest*, as the federal Minister of Fisheries defends the right of this company to ignore Fishery laws of Canada.
It's not quite accurate to say "the State of Washington ... banned open-net pen salmon farms from their waters by 2025."
The state is actually only phasing out non-native salmon farming. Farming of native species is still allowed, with no plans to eliminate it.
When the non-native farming phaseout bill passed the legislature in 2018, the bill included a non-binding preamble that addressed both non-native and native farming, even though only non-native farming was being phased out by the bill:
Recent developments have thrown into stark relief the threat that nonnative marine finfish aquaculture may pose to Washington's native salmon populations. But just as evidence has emerged that nonnative marine finfish aquaculture may endanger Washington's native salmon populations, so too has evidence emerged that marine finfish aquaculture in general may pose unacceptable risks not only to Washington's native salmon populations but also to the broader health of Washington's marine environment. Given this evidence, the legislature intends to phase out nonnative finfish aquaculture in Washington's marine waters. Because the state of the science and engineering with regard to marine finfish aquaculture may be evolving, the legislature further intends to study this issue in greater depth, and to revisit the issue of marine finfish aquaculture once additional research becomes available.
However, Governor Inslee vetoed this preamble section of the bill on the grounds that "[this section] is unnecessary to implement the bill, and I do not agree with all the assertions made in this section." Id. at 950 (governor's partial veto message).
The governor's partial veto does not negate the phaseout of non-native fish farming, nor does the partial veto "authorize" native fish farming, which was and remains lawful. But the partial veto does serve a political function: to warn legislators and the public that the governor disapproves of some unidentified aspect of the preamble. Presumably, the portion the governor disapproves is the portion relating to "finfish aquaculture in general," since, if he disapproved of the non-native phaseout, he would have vetoed the phaseout.
All of which is to say, we do not have a total ban on fish farms here, and, based on the governor's partial veto message, we may not ever get a total ban. We may be stuck with native fish farming for a long time to come.
Cooke Aquaculture has partnered with the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe in Sequim to rear sablefish and steelhead...http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4567198...and recently received approval for the steelhead. Cooke was operating the Atlantic salmon farm near Cypress Island during the August 2017 salmon spill. They also have net pens in the Pt Angeles harbor which are not currently in use, but we shall see. Partnering with the tribe was probably their best opportunity to get back in the game locally.