Mowi Canada West's Sheep Pass salmon farm was the company's last of all its B.C. production sites to receive certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council. The BC Salmon Farmers Association says activists' claims that salmon farms contribute to declines in wild stocks are based on outdated information that does not account for current practices. (Mowi Canada West photo)

Campbell River Chamber of Commerce hosts BC Salmon Farmers director for Q&A

Meeting to be held via Zoom on April 22 at noon

The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) recently released a report entitled, “Consequences of the Decision to Shut Down Salmon Farming in the Discovery Islands,” stating that the Discovery Islands decision, if unaltered, will put nearly 1,500 well-paid B.C. jobs at risk and cause the euthanization of up to 10.7 million fish. This decision puts the entire $1.6 billion industry in B.C. at risk.

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BCSFA will join Mary Ruth Snyder of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce for discussion on the report on Thursday April 22 at noon. Anyone interested in taking part is asked to contact Snyder at 250-650-7575 or by email at exdir@crchamber.ca for a link to register.

“We feel it is important to provide a platform for people to engage directly and ask questions regarding the fall-out from the federal government’s December 17, 2020 decision to close the Discovery Island fish farms with an accelerated time-line,” Snyder says, “There is no question the economic impact will be felt by our entire community.”

Fraser will be providing a virtual presentation of the report, along with updates, followed by a Q&A.

B.C.’s salmon farmers are calling for reconsideration of the Discovery Islands decision, saying a more responsible path forward can be achieved through time, transfer and table to minimize the serious impacts of this decision.

“We have been speaking about the impacts of this rushed, ill-considered decision since the day it was made, but this report really captured just how widespread the human and animal welfare impacts will be,” Fraser says. “Thankfully, we are also able to offer a reasonable, respectful way forward, one consistent with genuine reconciliation with First Nations and real engagement with all parties. The ball is now in the government’s court, and we ask them to seriously, and urgently, consider this reasonable way forward.”

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