Today, the federal government committed to phase out all 19 fish farms in the Discovery Islands, which is a critical migration route for wild salmon, by June 30, 2022. During the 18-month transition period, industry is to complete the harvesting of existing fish, while no new fish of any size can be introduced into open net-pens in this region.
In response, Georgia Strait Alliance’s Executive Director Christianne Wilhelmson, says:
“We’ve been working tirelessly for more than 20 years to show the federal government the science that proves that fish farms cause serious harm and introduce pathogens to migrating wild salmon—so knowing that some of the nets in this important area for salmon, in particular Fraser River salmon, will soon be out of the water is simply incredible. It will make a huge difference to the health of salmon stocks that are in critical danger.
We offer our thanks to the Homalco, Klahoose, K’ómoks, Kwiakah, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations, upon whose territory these farms have been located, and whose leadership resulted in this agreement to pull these nets out of the water.
As an intervenor in the federal government’s $37-million Cohen Commission in 2009, it is a relief to know that recommendation #19 is now going to happen. Building on this decision, we look forward to working with the federal government to continue with its promise to transition all open net-pen fish farms to sustainable land-based operations that create and retain coastal employment.”