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Cermaq Canada Responds to Washington State Farmed Salmon Escape

Cermaq Canada Website

Cermaq Canada would like to assure its partners, stakeholders, and the public that the company’s farmers work hard to prevent fish escapes from happening in BC waters.

Unfortunately, escaped farmed Atlantic salmon from Washington State are now being caught by fishers on both coasts of Vancouver Island.

Cermaq Canada would like to assure its partners, stakeholders, and the public that the company’s farmers work hard to prevent any such incident from happening in BC waters. As a global group, Cermaq has a specific goal of “no fish escapes in all regions.” 

Cermaq Canada has a host of measures in place to prevent escapes, including:

- Strict federal and provincial regulations 

- Escape prevention requirements in eight third-party certification standards

- Internal company policies and procedures

- Regular inspection and renewal of infrastructure including pen nets, secondary (predator) nets, anchoring, and pen walkways

- Transparent reporting of any and all escapes, even just one fish 

These measures work, and have reduced escapes of farmed Atlantic salmon to almost zero during the last decade.  

While any escape is unfortunate, there are several reasons why escaped Atlantic salmon pose little threat to wild Pacific salmon populations:

- Atlantic salmon cannot interbreed with Pacific salmon 

- Despite deliberate attempts to stock Atlantic salmon on the Pacific coast for sport fishing, Atlantics have never been able to establish a population  

Cermaq Canada will continue working to prevent any escapes from its facilities in BC as part of its commitment to sustainable, responsible aquaculture. Cermaq Canada will also work with other salmon farming companies where possible to help raise the standards for all salmon farming companies, and is already making some progress in this goal through the Global Salmon Initiative