Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Green Party leader Elizabeth May paid a visit to Vancouver Island on Thursday, to reaffirm her party’s dedication to ending fish farming in open ocean pens and expand on what that would look like for people living on the coast.

While standing by the Brant Viewing Area on the Old Island Highway in Qualicum Beach, May emphasized more funding for fish stock research to help protect endangered species; moving all open-net pen fish aquaculture facilities to closed land-based systems; financial support for fish pen workers during transition; and the idea of involving local First Nations in the process of phasing out fish farming in open ocean pens.

READ MORE: Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

In response to a question from The NEWS about concerns around job loss in the fish farming industry, May said jobs would be displaced to land based aquaculture operations and that the opportunities for work in the sector are plentiful.

“We’re very concerned to ensure that workers in any aspect of the economy that’s going to go through a major transition, particularly fossil fuel workers, but also fish farm workers, that they know they have jobs in the transition,” May said. “There are workers in aquaculture on land.”

She said that there are fish farm operations on land elsewhere in Canada and B.C., and it’s time to “stop the contamination of the wild salmon populations with the sea lice, with the diseases and with the very negative impacts of having salmon aquaculture taking over our coastal ecosystems.”

Hereditary Chief Gigame of the Laichkwiltach Nation, George Quocksister Jr., was present at the announcement, said he thinks fish farming is a significant issue for all people in B.C.

“They’re destroying the salmon, not only the salmon, the prawns, crabs, clams – everything is getting destroyed,” he said.

May continued on her Thursday tour of Vancouver Island after visiting Qualicum Beach, ahead of Monday’s federal election.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox to Texada ferry run suspended for now as pandemic precaution

BC Ferries not making schedule changes of regular Comox-Powell River route

Comox Valley centre offering free online meditation and mindfulness teachings

The Comox Valley has a well-kept secret in the Sherab Chamma Tibetan… Continue reading

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Comox Valley Farmers’ Market set for online shopping

An online store will complement the market and is set to start taking orders soon.

Comox Valley Food Bank set to reopen

The organization closed last week due to concerns around COVID-19

Comox Valley grocers going extra mile during coronavirus

We have had numerous requests to post a fluid article directing consumers… Continue reading

Speed, alcohol not ruled out as factors in crash that left one person dead

Police watchdog, Campbell River Major Crimes Unit are investigating

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

Cumberland has new waste collection service

Emterra begins new collection service as of March 30

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

Most Read