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Statement from Minister Wilkinson on British Columbia recommendations for aquaculture in the Broughton Archipelago

Vancouver, British Columbia — Protecting ocean health is a priority to Canadians and the Government of Canada. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that fish and their habitat are protected for future generations, and we take this responsibility very seriously. This is why earlier this week, we announced the Government of Canada’s approach to enhance the environmental sustainability of the aquaculture sector. This approach includes: a study on the alternative technologies for aquaculture, including land and sea-based closed containment technology, moving towards an area-based approach to aquaculture management, placing greater emphasis on the precautionary principle and creating a single comprehensive set of regulations – the General Aquaculture Regulations.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson is issuing the following statement on the recommendations made by a steering committee comprised of the Province of British Columbia, Namgis, Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations, and the aquaculture industry that is focused on fish farming in the Broughton Archipelago:

“We commend the work the Province of British Columbia has done in collaboration with Indigenous partners and industry. The committee developed unanimous recommendations to ensure that aquaculture in BC is managed in a way that protects our oceans, our wild pacific salmon, and considers and engages Indigenous knowledge and concerns. We look forward to reviewing their recommendations regarding land tenures for existing aquaculture sites in the Broughton Archipelago and working with the Province of BC and other parties going forward.

The work of the steering committee was in large part inspired by concerns of potential impacts to wild salmon from farms located on wild salmon migration routes. The announcement I made earlier this week to put greater emphasis on the precautionary principle was inspired by similar concerns.

We will work with the Province of BC, Indigenous leaders, industry and environmental groups to address the steering committee’s recommendations in a manner that is consistent with our new approach to aquaculture announced earlier this week.

Along with our partners, we will ensure aquaculture is managed in an environmentally responsible way, one that protects our oceans and wild salmon. Our efforts are fully consistent with the significant efforts and investments we are making to protect and restore wild Pacific salmon stocks. Such work includes the recently announced British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.”  

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2018-12-14 10:30:06

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