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Federal NDP MP proposes bill requiring fish farming be done in closed containment

Bill C—228, a bill that would require fish farming to be carried out in closed containment facilities, is on the table in the House of Commons and will be given a second reading sometime during the current session of Parliament.

The private members bill was first introduced by Fin Donnelly, NDP MP for Port Moody —Coquitlam, in February, 2016.

The bill amends the Fisheries Act. The proposed amendments state that licences for finfish aquaculture would not be issued unless they will be carried out in a closed containment facility and that no one shall carry out finfish aquaculture in Canadian fisheries waters off the Pacific Coast unless in a closed containment facility and with the proper license.

MP Rachel Blaney (North Island – Powell River) is on board.

“For myself I will be voting positively on this bill,” she said. “I don’t want Canada to be behind. I want to make sure we are seeing a positive investment in making sure that we keep those jobs in our riding and doing as much as we can to protect our oceans that are facing multiple challenges right now.”

The BC Salmon Farmers Association does not want to see this bill passed.

“B.C’s competitive advantage is our vast ocean resource, and that responsible stewardship of that resource will provide economic advancement for coastal communities, First Nations, and protect wild salmon for generations to come,” said Jeremy Dunn, executive director of the association, in a press release.

If the second reading is passed, the bill will be discussed in a committee.

Blaney said experts and witnesses will be brought in to review the bill and make changes, before it is brought back to the House and the Senate.