As part of the reelection campaign, the Canadian liberal party commits to move all salmon production in British Columbia from open net pen in coastal waters to closed containment systems by 2025.
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance called the plan highly irresponsible with potentially serious and far-reaching negative consequences for Canadian jobs and the environment. “This is a reckless policy, not grounded in science, and it will threaten good middle-class jobs across Canada,” said Timothy Kennedy, president & CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance.
In a joint statement, Canadian associations said that seafood farming provides 26,000 full-time jobs across Canada and it generates $5.4 billion in economic activity. Salmon farming makes closely up to 90% of this economic value. This is a young, highly innovative sector that is providing full-time jobs across Canada where these jobs are needed most in indigenous, remote, and coastal communities.
The Liberal party said it will base decisions on science. The statement says that there is no evidence that British Columbia salmon farms are harming wild salmon populations. While pilot projects to grow salmon to full size in closed containment are happening around the world, this work needs to continue in partnership and without any artificial mandates and timelines. No other nation has proposed this requirement of their salmon production. If implemented, this requirement will only move local, top-quality production to other countries that may not have the high environmental standards Canada already employs.
“While we are already a top global performer, our sector is committed to constant improvement. Our farmers need support and confidence to continue to invest in Canada. This irresponsible policy platform seriously undermines this confidence,” Kennedy concluded.