A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

A Cermaq Semi-Closed Containment System is tested in Norway before its introduction to B.C. waters. The system is currently undergoing sea trials in B.C., as the federal government launches a series of roundtable discussions on transitioning open-net pens from B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Cermaq Canada)

Talks underway on B.C. salmon farm transition

Amid roundtable discussions, Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech asks for public input

The federal government wants public input on the future of B.C. salmon farming as it launches consultations over the transition of open-net pens from provincial waters.

Throughout February and March Parliamentary Secretary Terry Beech will be holding virtual roundtable sessions with B.C. First Nations, the aquaculture industry and environmental stakeholders.

The general public can also share their views with Beech by responding to online questions until March 26.

“As a British Columbian, I know how important the aquaculture sector is to our economy, our workforce, and the sustainability of coastal communities in our province,” Beech said. “The transition from open-net pens will make this vital industry more sustainable and more prosperous in the long-term. I look forward to collaborating with Indigenous communities, the Government of British Columbia, industry members, scientists, and other partners to determine the best path forward on a transition plan that meets the needs of our communities, our workers, and our environment.”

READ MORE: Young B.C. professionals call on Trudeau for salmon-farm supports

Beech will deliver the findings of his consultations and the public feedback to the Minister later this year, which will help guide the next steps in the transition from open-net pens.

The decision to transition the farms follows years of protest from wild salmon advocates who worry open-net pens act as reservoirs of pathogens and sea lice that can spread freely to migrating juvenile salmon.

Recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada risk assessments in the Discovery Islands found the impacts were below critical thresholds, but Jordan has nonetheless been given the mandate to develop a transition plan for B.C. open-net pen farms by 2025.

READ MORE: Ottawa eyes B.C. coastline for new economic vision

She previously told Black Press Media she expects salmon aquaculture to play a big role in the Blue Economy Strategy, currently under development, which aims to position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, ocean-based industries.

There are several alternatives to open-net pens, including contained and semi-contained systems, offshore systems, land-based systems and hybrid systems at sea and on land.

Conservation groups have pushed for land-based systems, but industry has resisted the option, saying the costs and environmental footprint would be prohibitive.

Click here for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s online public engagement.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Just Posted

The draw for May’s Shop Local & Win contest takes place June 4, 2021. (Special to The News)
Open your wallet close to home and win

Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce hosts shop local competition

Brian Malfesi and his partner Vincent Jourdenais have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge kayak racer qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Malfesi is first B.C. sprint paddler to race for Team Canada at Olympics in 33 years

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chamber of commerce for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows hosts Conservative leader

Erin O’Toole and MP Dalton part of online Zoom meeting on Monday

A photo of Telosky Stadium from the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives. (Special to The News)
Telosky Stadium opened in Haney on this day in 1950

Maple Ridge Museum and Archives marks special day in local sporting history

Transport 2050 is TransLink’s largest ever public engagement. (TransLink, Special to The News)
Last day to take TransLink’s planning survey

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents can have a say in Transport 2050

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read