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Tourism industry calls on BC Premier Horgan to cancel the tenures for open-pen fish farms

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter took part in the ‘Street Ruckus 4 Wild Salmon’ yesterday which began at a Tourism Victoria visitor centre and made its way through the streets to the BC Legislature. Photo by @cocvic

The provincial government of BC premier John Horgan will be announcing a crucial decision about fish farm tenures within hours.

The Vancouver Sun reports, “A group of 75 B.C. tourism operators, including whale watching companies and coastal resorts, are calling on Premier Horgan to cancel the tenures for 20 open-pen ocean fish farms before a renewal deadline [of June 20].”

The article adds, “The businesses presented a letter to Horgan’s office at the legislature Monday demanding the NDP live up to its promise to end ocean fish farms when the tenures come up for renewal Wednesday. …They want a coast-wide moratorium on new fish farms, an end to open-pen fish farms, and government funding to help fish farms transition to new closed-containment facilities on land.”

The Council of Canadians first began raising concerns about farmed salmon in March 2013. Open-pen fish farms are the aquatic version of factory farming, are rampant with diseases and sea lice, pose a threat to the health of wild salmon and herring stocks, in turn endanger an important food source for bears and whales, and both violate Indigenous rights and threaten their traditional way of life.

The British Columbia government reportedly cannot ban open-net fish farms because they are regulated and licensed by the federal government, but it can reject foreshore tenures that allow people to access fish farms from land and/or anchor the structures to land because those tenures are provincially issued.

If you live in British Columbia, please contact your MLA today to express your opposition to a renewal of the fish farm tenures.

Further reading
Opposition to renewal of Fish Farm licenses: MLA Meetings Background Package