Discovery Islands salmon farm licences should not be renewed

VANCOUVER — The federal government’s commitment to engage with stakeholders on a transition strategy for open net-pen salmon farms in B.C. waters is a positive step, but more immediate actions are needed to protect wild salmon.

“We look forward to engaging with the federal government to create a clear timeline and plan to get open net-pen salmon farms out of B.C. waters by 2025,” said David Suzuki Foundation marine conservation specialist Kilian Stehfest. “It’s time for B.C. to join our neighbours in Alaska and Washington in protecting wild Pacific salmon runs from this harmful practice. Countless species, ecosystems and communities depend on healthy wild salmon. They support everything from orcas and bears to fishing guides and commercial fishers.”

Studies have shown that pathogens such as sea lice and viruses from open net-pen fish farms pose a risk to the wild salmon stocks the federal government is committed to recovering. This year’s Fraser River sockeye returns have been the lowest on record.

“The declining salmon runs show that government needs to take more urgent action,” Stehfest said. “Open net-pen fish farms must be removed from critical juvenile wild salmon migration routes in the Discovery Islands. The licences for these farms expire in December, and not renewing them needs to be a part of the transition plan.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Olga Shuvalova, David Suzuki Foundation,, cell: 514-569-6496, office: 604-732-4228 ext. 1266