The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, together with its regional counterparts, BC Salmon Farmers Association, Ontario Aquaculture Association, Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, BC Shellfish Growers Association, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, PEI Aquaculture Alliance and Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, issued the following joint statement:
Sep 30, 2019 - The Liberal platform commitment to moving all salmon production in British Columbia to “closed containment by 2025” is highly irresponsible with potentially serious and far-reaching negative consequences for Canadian jobs and the environment.
“This is a reckless policy, not grounded in science, and it will threaten good middle-class jobs across Canada,” says Timothy Kennedy, President & CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance.
Salmon farming is the most environmentally sustainable large-scale farmed animal production in the world. It’s a solution to climate change. British Columbia farm-raised salmon production has been recognized as being a global top sustainable performer: the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” recognized the provincial production as “a good alternative” last year, the first region so recognized in the world, and the FAIRR Global Index lists BC salmon producers as the top sustainable global producers of animal protein. It is a critical solution to the world’s growing demand for low impact, low-carbon emissions, high-protein food supply while alleviating pressure on threatened wild fish stocks.
Seafood farming provides 26,000 full-time jobs across Canada. It generates $5.4 Billion in economic activity in Canada. Salmon farming makes up close to 90% of this economic value. This is a young, highly innovative sector that is providing full-time jobs across Canada where these jobs are needed most: in indigenous, remote, and coastal communities.
The Liberal party has consistently said it will base decisions on science. There is no evidence that B.C. salmon farms are harming wild salmon populations. While pilot projects to grow salmon to full size in closed containment are happening around the world, this work needs to continue in partnership and without any artificial mandates and timelines.
No other nation has proposed this requirement of their salmon production. If implemented, this requirement will only move local, top-quality production to other countries that may not have the high environmental standards Canada already employs.
“While we are already a top global performer, our sector is committed to constant improvement. Our farmers need support and confidence to continue to invest in Canada. This irresponsible policy platform seriously undermines this confidence,” Kennedy concluded.