Friday at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns called on the federal government to deliver on a promise to transition to closed-containment aquaculture.
“The Liberals promised they would move to on-land, closed containment salmon farms on the B.C. coast by 2025,” Johns, the NDP Critic for Fisheries and Oceans, said during Question Period. “Now they’re saying they won’t even have a plan until 2025. B.C. wild salmon and workers can’t wait five years. The transition needs to get started now to save Pacific wild salmon.”
During the 2019 campaign, the Liberals promised to transition from open net salmon farming to closed containment systems by 2025. But now, in government, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is saying they’ll come up with a plan by 2025. A news release from Johns’ office says this “broken promise” came after a record year of sea lice concentrations on farms near migratory routes of wild juvenile salmon, the transfer of disease infected fish, escapes, and massive die-offs while wild salmon runs are collapsing on the migratory routes where these farms are located.
“It’s too long to wait for a plan, people need action,” said Johns. “People across my riding depend on wild salmon, and with the historic lows in salmon returns, the government has to act immediately to get the transition started as soon as possible.”