Mowi Canada West was part of the presentation to the Strathcona Regional District board. (Mowi Canada West photo)

Mowi Canada West was part of the presentation to the Strathcona Regional District board. (Mowi Canada West photo)

Salmon Farmers ask Strathcona Regional District for support

Directors ask why industry hasn’t already pivoted to closed containment

The BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) has asked the Strathcona Regional District to support their request for more time from the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans when it comes to the Discovery Islands fish farm closure decision.

The group has asked the federal government for three things: more time to mitigate the impacts of the decision to remove fish farms from the Discovery Islands east of Campbell River, the transfer of juvenile fish to ocean-based sites so they can finish their life cycle and to bring all stakeholders to the table for a more equitable process. They came to the SRD board to ask for the board’s support.

John Paul Fraser, BCSFA executive director was accompanied by communications manager Michelle Franze and Dean Dobrinsky, human resources director of MOWI Canada West for the presentation. They touched on many of the same points made publicly over the past few weeks, but also gave the directors the chance to ask questions about the situation.

RELATED: B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

“We were kind of only beginning to communicate what we could do and how we could help with economic recovery. And then Dec. 17 happened,” said Fraser. “It’s an absolutely devastating effect to our sector that we’re just beginning to get our heads around.”

After a short video titled “BC’s Salmon Farmers – #DiscoveryDamage,” the floor was opened up to directors to ask questions. Tahsis director Martin Davis started, asking the presenters why the fish farm companies were not already moving towards closed containment, since the “writing has been on the wall for a while.”

“In order to adapt and survive (a move to closed containment is) going to be what you have to do. In fact you’re fighting this decision in court. Why are you doing that?” he asked.

Dobrinsky replied that “there is not, at this point, a profitable business model for land-based salmon farming… You need a large land-base, an active water supply and an extensive amount of energy. While our company and other companies continue to look at land-base, it’s not been proven to be a financially viable industry at this point.”

“And the first question, that’s not asked, is about the people who are now in harm’s way,” added Fraser. “That should be a priority to elected officials.”

Campbell River director Charlie Cornfield agreed about the viability of the land-based farms, saying that any operations would not be built on Vancouver Island.

“It won’t be in small communities on the east coast of Vancouver Island… It’s going to be where the markets are,” he said.

Cortes Island Director Noba Anderson, however, agreed with Davis.

“I would have liked to have seen a bit more effort from the industry over all to transition,” she said. “We do care about our constituents, we do care about their jobs, we do care about their welfare, but it’s not our job to bail out an industry, even though it really impacts our communities. I’m not interested in asking for a revoking, an overturn or a delay of the decision because it’s been a long time coming.”

Since this was a delegation, no action was taken after the presentation. It may come back to the board at a later meeting.

RELATED: Salmon farming exec says feds left B.C. industry on the hook with no safety net



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverSalmon farmingStrathcona Regional District

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River dock fire spread slowed thanks to security guard

Creosote docks pose challenges for fire fighters

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Safety concerns run Campbell River Minor Baseball out of Nunns Creek Park

Parents say ‘needle and feces sweeps’ have become part of everyday life for the baseball community

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Undersea cables are towed out into position. Photo Baylink Networks.
SRD looks at last-mile agreements for Connected Coast project

District to borrow up to $12 million — pending electoral approval

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
‘I am not a virus’: How one postcard sparked a Vancouver Island pushback against racism

Literacy Alberni receives $50K in funding to create web-driven system for reporting racism

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
B.C. teacher suspended after calling students ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ in online messages

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read