“This government is committed to an area-based management approach to aquaculture, and we recognize the concerns raised by partners that these particular farms may not be the best fit for this location nor for the adjacent communities. We will be consulting with each First Nation within the Discovery Islands area, and the information and views they provide will inform my decision on whether or not to renew licences for these farms this December, and in the future.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
DFO will be consulting with the Holmalco, Klahoose, Komoks, Kwiakah, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) and Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River) First Nations.
In response to the Cohen Commission’s Recommendation 19, DFO looked at the overall risk estimate to Fraser River Sockeye salmon from diseases that occur in Atlantic salmon farms. The assessments focused on farms located in the Discovery Islands area.
The assessments concluded that the pathogens found in Atlantic salmon farms in the Discovery Islands area pose no more than a minimal risk to Fraser River Sockeye Salmon abundance and diversity under the current fish health management practices. A summary of the findings can be found on the DFO website.
DFO has been renewing aquaculture licences in the Discovery on an annual basis. These are set to expire in December 2020. In the interim, licence holders are required to submit fish health data to DFO, similar to all other marine finfish licenses in British Columbia, which is then posted on the DFO website.