Open net-pen salmon farming is endangering BC’s wild salmon. A recent court case won by Alexandra Morton against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans highlights the disease risks open net-pen farms pose to our wild stocks. On May 27, 2015 you also received over 100,000 petition signatures and a letter signed by scores of businesses and organizations petitioning you to stop the expansion of open net-pen salmon farms in BC.
Please stop issuing licenses of occupation for new and expanded open net-pen salmon farms and start facilitating the pioneered-in-BC model of closed containment land-based aquaculture. Closed containment aquaculture on land, such as that modeled by the Namgis’ First Nation’s Kuterra project on Vancouver Island, is the future of aquaculture.
The Kuterra project is isolated from the marine environment: it does not dump feces, food, and parasites into the ocean and does not need antibiotics, pesticides or hormones to treat marine borne diseases. The Kuterra system is efficient: it uses 30% less feed than conventional aquaculture, the facility is BC Hydro Power Smart certified, and similar systems could produce as much salmon as the entire BC open net-pen salmon farming industry in an area 1/5th the size of Vancouver’s Stanley park. The Kuterra project is one of two commercial closed containment land-based Atlantic salmon farms operating globally.
BC has an opportunity to become a leader in this sustainable industry. We ask you to support a transition to this better form of aquaculture.