Salmon farm expansion in Clayoquot Sound

2 more salmon farms in Clayoquot?
Cermaq Canada, a Norwegian-owned company, has applied for 2 new salmon feedlots in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are already 21 feedlot sites in Clayoquot.

The new feedlots would be located in Ahousaht First Nations’ territories, one in Millar Channel (on the route to Hot Springs Cove), and one in Herbert Inlet (close to the unlogged Moyeha River which has been protected since 1911 in Strathcona Park).

The 2 new Clayoquot Sound feedlots are part of a major expansion of salmon farms on the BC coast. The federal government, which imposed a moratorium on new licenses during the Cohen Inquiry, indicated to the salmon farming industry last October that they had been given a green light, and began accepting new license applications this spring.

Industry poised to increase fourfold
The salmon farming industry is hoping to undergo a fourfold increase in production by 2030, and the federal government is slashing environmental protections to help make that happen. In a recent Vancouver Sun article a senior official stated “In British Columbia, we’re in a position now where I think the scenarios and signals are all positive…the industry is getting ready for a bit of a takeoff there.”

This is happening in the wake of Justice Cohen’s report on the state of Fraser River sockeye. The Cohen Inquiry took 3 years to complete and cost $26 million. Of Cohen’s 75 recommendations, only 8 have been implemented.

Potential for harm “serious and irreversible”
While Cohen did not find a ‘smoking gun’ linking the decline of wild salmon directly to salmon farming, he did note that the potential for harm to wild fish from salmon feedlots is “serious and irreversible”.

Clayoquot Sound is Vancouver Island’s last great rainforest. Wild salmon are the lifeblood of this ecosystem—yet despite the abundance of pristine habitat, local salmon populations are in serious decline. Adding yet more salmon farms to Clayoquot Sound without truly understanding the associated risks is reckless and irresponsible.

Please sign Clayoquot Action’s petition asking BC Premier Christy Clark to refuse to grant the seabed lease for these 2 new salmon farms in Clayoquot Sound.

Dan Lewis is Executive Director of Clayoquot Action.


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