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Author Topic: Fish Farms

B.C. judge grants Ottawa extension to come up with fish farm laws

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted the federal Fisheries Department a 12-month extension to come up with new laws to regulate fish farms.

A year ago, Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled that Ottawa, not the provinces, should license fish farms because it has constitutional powers over the ocean.

His new ruling this week gave the federal government until Dec. 18 of this year to create new legislation for the controversial industry.

Hinkson also restricted the B.C. government from issuing new fish farm licenses until the extension period is over, or extending the areas within which existing fish farms operate.

Critics say sea lice from open net-cage fish farms have been killing wild salmon who migrate past them.

"It's a good thing, it's a reasonable thing," Alexandra Morton, one of four petitioners in the case, said about the extension.

"Obviously we don't want chaos. We want this to be done in an organized manner."

Marine Harvest Canada is the largest aquaculture company in the province and a defendant in the case, along with the B.C. government.

Company spokesman Clare Backman said he expected the court to provide an extension to the federal government so it can develop the proper regulations.

He said Marine Harvest had no licences awaiting approval and doesn't plan to expand its operations this year.

However, Backman said the company will be growing in the future to keep up with demand.

"The global demand for salmon far outstrips what the wild fishery can produce," he said. "The growth in our market is going up nine or 10 per cent a year."

The company sells one-third of its farmed salmon in Canada and exports the rest to the United States.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said the court's restrictions mean there will be prudent consideration for aboriginal title and ecological values that are increasingly important to the general public.

Agriculture Minister Steve Thomson said the province is currently dealing with 42 applications for new shellfish sites but won't be accepting any new ones, in keeping with the court ruling.

"By moving toward a transfer of shellfish aquaculture regulation we are laying the foundation for a more efficient aquaculture management system," he said.

Interesting, thanks for the post, may be a step in the right direction.
fisher 696

Fish farms should be on land in concrete pens not out in the ocean in the prime spots. It is not in the interest in the fish farmers to help wild stocks...the less wild salmon there are the more valuable the shitty Atlantics they raise will be worth....the flesh is artificially dyed to be appetizing...our salmon will go the way of the Cod back East...take pictures now because they will be gone in our life times....a pity we will only be able to tell our grandkids about the "good old days" when you could catch fish and eat them....

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