Net-cage salmon farming is one of the most harmful aquaculture production systems and its negative environmental impacts are widely documented wherever net-cage salmon farming is practiced. Despite these facts, salmon farmers in British Columbia continue to use this outdated technology and are even seeking to expand net-cage use.
Mainstream Canada is the most recent company to submit a tenure application to the B.C. government for a new open net-cage salmon farm located in Clayoquot Sound. If approved, and then licensed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the site would add about 600,000 more farmed salmon to an area that is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
There is a more sustainable alternative to net-cage salmon farming: closed containment technology. Closed systems are being increasingly adopted as the technology matures and the retail and consumer demand for closed containment farmed salmon is growing rapidly.
Salmon farming companies that continue to try to expand the destructive net-cage industry are disconnected with the citizens of British Columbia who want a sustainable aquaculture industry, with retailers and shoppers who want to buy sustainable seafood, and with the technological advances taking place within their own industry.
With outdated and disconnected salmon farming companies – especially one willing to put an internationally recognized Biosphere Reserve at increased risk – it’s clear we need government to step in on behalf of wild salmon and the health of the Pacific Ocean. The time is long overdue to stop the expansion of net-cages and demand that the aquaculture industry adopt better practices.
Join us in calling on the B.C. government to place a permanent moratorium on net-cage tenures in B.C. once and for all!
Net-cage salmon farming is one of the most harmful aquaculture production systems. Since the 1980s, researchers have studied the effects of net-cage aquaculture in BC and produced a mountain of evidence indicating that net-cage salmon farming harms the environment and has negative impacts on wild fish stocks. These findings are consistent with the global weight of scientific evidence from net-cage salmon farming regions around the world.
Meanwhile, a more sustainable alternative to net-cage salmon farming has been developed in BC and elsewhere: closed containment technology. The retail and consumer demand for more sustainably produced, closed tank-farmed salmon is growing rapidly as the technology continues to mature.
The opportunity to invest in closed containment technology to raise farmed salmon in British Columbia is enormous. A transition to a sustainable aquaculture industry in would provide long-term aquaculture employment in coastal communities and help ensure the continued economic viability of other industries dependent on wild salmon or marine resources in the province.
The provincial government must step in to block the expansion of net-cages in order to steer the aquaculture industry in a new direction and towards better practices. Deny Mainstream Canada’s tenure application for a new net-cage salmon farm and to place a permanent moratorium on net-cage tenures in BC once and for all.