Role of the Provincial Government

Since salmon farms first appeared on the BC coast in the 1980s, they were regulated by the provincial government. In September 2009, the provincial government relinquished control and management of marine fin-fish aquaculture to the federal government as a result of the BC Supreme Court’s Hinkson decision and on December 18, 2010 the federal government assumed the management of aquaculture in BC.

The Province will, by law, retain control over tenures under the Land Act and will retain management of shellfish, land-based contained systems and freshwater aquaculture. All other elements — including licensing, aquaculture management plans, waste management regulation and fish health — will fall to the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Although the Province will no longer be managing the aquaculture industry, it still has important responsibilities moving forward:

  • As stated above, new farm applications can only proceed with the Province’s approval of siting and tenures under the Land Act and there are several new farm applications currently on the books. CAAR is monitoring the advancement of these applications – click here for information on actions you can take to stop net-cage expansion.
  • The Province has an economic development responsibility to ensure vibrant sustainable coastal communities in BC. This can be furthered by providing support and funding for closed containment research and development. CAAR will continue to work with the Provincial government on this issue.