Opportunities to weigh in on aquaculture in BC

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Two opportunities to let the government know your thoughts on aquaculture and the future of wild salmon in BC

Wild salmon spawning in British Columbia. Photo: Olga N. Vasik/iStockphotos

The Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River is currently accepting comments from the public. If you haven’t already, this is a great opportunity to remind the Commissioner that you are counting on this process to take a serious look at the role of net-cage salmon farms in the decline of wild salmon. Just visit the Public Submissions page on the Inquiry website to enter your comments and ideas.

Also, an important reminder, that the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) is currently drafting new federal regulations for the management of aquaculture in BC. A draft of the new regulations will be posted for public review and comment sometime close to Canada Day – just when many people are either heading out on vacation or gearing up for a busy summer in the fishing or tourism sectors. The 60 day comment period will then close around Labour Day. So before heading off, check our website – if the regulations are up we’ll provide a link. Print them (on recycled paper!) and take them with you – jot down your thoughts or comments, and submit them next time you’re near a computer. Don’t let the summer slide by without weighing in, that could be just what DFO is hoping for!

We’ll also be sure to send out an alert as soon as the regulations are posted and tell you CAAR’s perspective on what’s good and what isn’t about these draft regulations. If you haven’t already, sign up for our enewsletter to get this alert.

Two BC-based closed containment pilot projects underway

Re-circulating closed containment tanks.

The ‘Namgis First Nation based in Alert Bay and Marine Harvest Canada are in the process of developing closed containment salmon aquaculture pilot projects. Each group recently advertised for Closed Containment Project Managers.

The ‘Namgis First Nation opposes net-cage salmon farms within or adjacent to its traditional territory. Their project is aimed at demonstrating the technological and commercial viability of producing closed containment salmon in a land-based, re-circulating aquaculture facility. Currently in conceptual stage, the pilot’s first salmon grow-out cycle is expected to occur towards the end of 2012.

Marine Harvest announced their intention to design a commercial-scalable closed containment pilot project in early 2010. CAAR will work closely with the company through the development and design stages, assessing performance objectives and measurable criteria. Construction on the facility is targeted to begin in June 2011.

These projects, and increasing acceptance of closed containment technology in general are proof that all our work for change has made a difference. So thanks for your years of support for CAAR’s campaign to expand closed containment salmon aquaculture in BC, we are beginning to witness real progress! We will bring you more on these exciting pilot projects as they continue to develop.

Closed Containment farmed salmon Q&As

With closed containment farmed salmon now on shelves at Overwaitea stores across BC and Alberta, this new product has raised a few questions around how salmon raised in closed containment is different from salmon raised in net-pens.

Check out the Q&A on our website for answers explaining why closed containment farmed salmon is more sustainable, the cost of this new product, and more.