Tuesday, September 26, 2023

New closures of salmon farms will work against innovation and successful transition

The British Columbia Canadian Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) has serious concerns that Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Joyce Murray, will commit to closing salmon farming in the region, an area that provides coastal and thousands of indirect jobs. does. Rural areas of British Columbia.

BCSFA learned this last week Minister Murray is proposing further removal of salmon farms in British Columbia, after recently closing 40% of existing farms by 2020. Any further reduction in salmon production could signal the end of salmon farming in British Columbia.

“Such a decision would result in loss of thousands of jobs; It will crush Indigenous rights and leave the companies that support the industry struggling to survive,” says Brian Kingzett, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

“This decision is not based on any credible science, including DFO’s own peer-reviewed studies, and is not supported by the many First Nations who want to continue salmon farming in their waters. The closure of salmon farming would reduce Canada’s local food supply, forcing it to import salmon from other countries to meet the needs of Canadian consumers at a significant price increase. The plan will also eliminate the ability of rural BC coastal communities to participate in Canada’s Blue Economy,” Canadian salmon farmers highlight.

They warn that any transition plan that does not consider the socioeconomic impacts on communities dependent on salmon farming will fail the sector’s contribution to the blue economy, climate change and food security.

“The engagement process of the entire transition framework has been flawed from the outset. Minister Murray has not followed his own engagement plan, and we have seen frequent changes to timelines and targets affecting the ability of participants to effectively, Including First Nations and salmon farming organizations. Plus, we’ve had to deal with extremely challenging processes, deliveries and deadlines. How do you succeed when the DFO minister keeps changing rules and deadlines?” Kingzet added.

“Any further proposed cuts, which some might claim is a reasonable compromise, could prompt the shutdown of an entire sector. A sector that has recently shut down 40% of its production since 2020. This approach is anything but responsible”, he says.

The BC Salmon Producers Association calls on the federal government to provide a more rational approach to a chaotic process, and to engage other ministries to provide leadership in developing an appropriate path.

Photography: BCSFA.

Nation World News Desk
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