From Fish Site on February 25th, the Canadian Federal Government decided to close a quarter of the salmon farms in British Columbia. This will cause more than 1,500 people to lose their jobs, and more than 10 million juvenile salmon and fish eggs will be killed. This will affect many communities. Have a long-term impact.
Salmon farmers in British Columbia are calling on the government to give more time to everyone with a stake in the salmon farming industry to develop a plan to minimize the serious impact of this decision.
They also asked the government to allow the transfer of salmon already in the fishery to other farms to complete their life cycle and avoid the destruction of millions of salmon juveniles already in hatcheries and other facilities. The government finds a better way to move forward through inclusive and transparent methods, builds solidarity with the community, and solves problems.
On December 17th last year, Canadian Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan ordered that all salmon farms in the Discovery Islands area must be demolished before June 30, 2022, and these farms cannot start to replenish salmon immediately. The British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) commissioned independent economic company RIAS Inc to investigate and report on the impact of this decision.
The report mentioned that concerns about closing the Discovery Islands area fisheries include the reduction of nearly $200 million in annual income from salmon farming and processing, as well as related wages, taxes and community benefits; British Columbia’s annual economic output The loss is about 390 million U.S. dollars, the annual salary and benefits are expected to be reduced by 87 million U.S. dollars, and the local, provincial, and federal taxes are reduced by 21 million U.S. dollars.
Analyst Doug Blair said that the above estimates are likely to be conservative, and the actual impact will be more significant. He found that the issuance of the order obviously lacked consultation and discussion with the prime minister. It is not clear under what circumstances the Minister of Fisheries made the decision in a hurry, and it seems that there is no management plan to implement the order.
Doug Blair pointed out that through research, the only way to avoid the serious damage shown in the report is for the government to reconsider this decision and conduct real negotiations with all parties to find a better way. If the status quo is not changed, this decision will be devastating.