CAAR opposes planned open net cage salmon production increases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 17, 2012

Vancouver, B.C.— The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) is vehemently opposing plans by Marine Harvest to increase production on salmon farms directly in the path of out-migrating juvenile Fraser River salmon. In an April 17, 2012 letter to DFO’s Regional Director General, CAAR demanded that any amendments to aquaculture licenses to increase production levels of farmed salmon in B.C. waters be denied.

Marine Harvest Canada submitted a license amendment application to DFO asking for an increase in production at its Shelter Bay site and they have already made significant changes to the size of their farm at nearby Marsh Bay. Both sites are located on the mainland shore across from Northeastern Vancouver Island. They are applying to transfer licensed production from sites that have not been operational for many years to this area. If these amendments are approved, these sites could see production increases by as much as 35 percent.

These two farms lie directly in the path of out-migrating Cultus Lake sockeye salmon – a stock of Fraser River sockeye that has been recommended for emergency listing as an endangered population by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

CAAR member groups believe that any expansion of salmon farm production along wild salmon migration routes on the B.C. coast will subject threatened and endangered wild salmon runs to significant increased impacts from both sea lice and disease from open net salmon farms.

“DFO and the industry are making use of bureaucratic loopholes to effectively increase production at open net cage salmon farms in B.C. waters and they are doing it in secret,” said Ruby Berry of Georgia Strait Alliance. “DFO has no mechanism in place for assessing existing, let alone increased or cumulative impacts of sea lice and disease from salmon farms sited on wild salmon migration routes.”

With the introduction of aquaculture licencing under the Federal Pacific Aquaculture Regulations (PARs), there is no longer any mechanism in place that will allow for public consultation on the proposed amendments, and repeatedly the people of B.C. have supported an end to open net-cage salmon farming and a transition to closed containment.

Download CAAR’s Letter to DFO’s Regional Director General

Download CAAR’s Salmon Farm Production Increase Backgrounder

About CAAR

CAAR was formed in 2001 to ensure salmon farming in British Columbia is safe for wild salmon, marine ecosystems, coastal communities and human health. Today the coalition has over 10,000 supporters across four continents and is comprised of the following conservation groups:

For more information, please contact:

Will Soltau, Living Oceans Society
wsoltau@livingoceans.org, 250-973-6580

Ruby Berry, Georgia Strait Alliance
ruby@georgiastrait.org, 250-650-9756

John Werring, David Suzuki Foundation

jwerring@davidsuzuki.org, 604-732-4228 ext. 1245
cell: 604-306-0517