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Yesterday, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) wrote an open letter to Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada. In the letter, they denouncing the “uncertainty and lack of due process” by the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) of Canada led by Joyce Murray, which would have had an “active disregard” for the British Columbia (BC) aquaculture, ignoring the scientific department and the claims of Canadians.
Once again, the Canadians asked for national political collaboration on the decisions of the BC aquaculture farms. Despite their repeated expressions of dissatisfaction with Murray’s plan, there has been no noticeable change after several months of complaints.
Murray’s objective with this plan would be to change the industry. To “develop a plan for transitioning away from open-net pen salmon aquaculture in British Columbia.” The biggest problem is that the industry does not want this transition to take place. On the one hand, the DFO minister relies on environmental motives that scientists deny. On the other hand, because of the lack of cooperation with companies and indigenous communities.
“Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray’s desire to eliminate modern, sustainable, in-ocean salmon farming in British Columbia is contrary to your government’s principles of evidence-based policy, Indigenous reconciliation, and economic reconciliation, advancing rural and coastal communities, combating climate change and making life more affordable for families,” stated CAIA President and CEO Timothy Kennedy. “Due to government decisions, 40% of the BC in-ocean salmon farming sector is now closed down.”
Unanswered questions from the beginning
CAIA explains that since Murray’s plans began, uncertainty and instability have been the keynote for aquaculture companies. As such, they are calling for action from the political elite, as well as asking Trudeau a series of questions…
- Canadians are being asked to trust government science. Why is Minister Murray being allowed to ignore evidence-based and peer-reviewed DFO science advice on salmon aquaculture?
- What science advice is Minister Murray basing her decisions on?. Why is this advice deemed more reliable than government-reviewed science advice?
- Closing farms have devastating impacts on coastal and Indigenous communities, food prices and food availability for Canadians, and increased carbon emissions. Have studies been undertaken to understand the scope of negative social and economic impacts and is there any serious peer-reviewed evidence that shows that shutting down farms will bring back wild salmon?
Finally, the open letter advocates for the advancement of a progressive and innovative policy in BC, in collaboration with BC First Nations. “We support programs that effectively recover wild salmon populations. We ask you and your government to support a smart and balanced pathway to a long-term, sustainable in-ocean salmon farming future for BC,” said Kennedy.
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) is the national association representing Canada’s seafood farmers. They advocate for their interests in Ottawa and internationally, engaging with regulators and policymakers. Thus, CAIA members generate CAD 5 billion in economic activity, contribute CAD 2 billion to the GDP, and employ over 20,000 Canadians. They promote a healthy and sustainable seafood farming sector in Canada.
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