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Letter: Ottawa, keep your promise to get fish farming out of B.C. waters

The federal government's goal was to transition open net pen salmon farms out by 2025, and this letter writer urges the public to speak up.
Salmon fry. | File photo

The Editor:

I am writing about my concern for fish farming.

Back in 2019, the Liberal government made a promise to all British Columbians and First Nations to transition open net pen salmon farms out of provincial waters by 2025.

The government's actions on this matter will decide the future of wild Pacific salmon. Decades of rigorous peer-reviewed science have proven that ocean-based salmon farms are a direct threat to the survival of wild Pacific salmon.

These salmon farms release raw sewage, disease and parasites into B.C. oceans and kill hundreds of thousands of wild fish every year. This is depriving First Nations of the wild salmon they need for food security, and endangering tens of thousands of jobs in commercial fisheries, outfitting and tourism.

I expect that any forthcoming transition plan will chart a course for removal of all ocean-based salmon farms.

Despite industry's claims regarding innovation, there is no technology available or in development that addresses pathogen and parasite transfer in the marine environment, and this is the number one concern for wild fish.

Further, I expect that any renewal of aquaculture licenses will be for a period of no more than two years.

Anything short of these expectations will constitute a broken promise.

To anybody reading this letter, if you have any concerns, I encourage you to reach out to your local MP as well as the federal ministers of environment and oceans and fisheries to express your concern for fish farming.

- Ian Dewar McPherson, Richmond