Aquaculture North America

Brian Kingzett responds to MP Blaney’s letter pleading for fish farm transition plan

May 31, 2023
By Maryam Farag

Brian Kingzett, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, writes a letter responding to MP Rachel Blaney’s recent letter to Minister Murray regarding the federal government’s B.C. salmon farming transition plan.

He writes: “Your riding represents the majority of salmon farmers in British Columbia. As such, we were disheartened to read your recent letter on May 11 to DFO Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray. As our Member of Parliament, it does not appear that you are prepared to support and fight for our families and communities. 

“Your letter asks for a plan to transition our workers, implying that the BC salmon farming sector will be removed from our communities. This is not language that the sector nor the Federal government has used when discussing the transition plan, so why is it the language you use? 

“Our communities do not need a short-term monetary Band-Aid; we need regulatory certainty. A small monetary fix will not offset the long-term devastation these communities will experience if our sector leaves British Columbia. 

“Cumulative and federal government science has been clear; salmon farms do not pose more than minimal risk to wild Pacific salmon, and we have repeatedly stated that we will continue to innovate to reduce potential risk further. As we remain committed to rights, title, and reconciliation, we believe it is the decision of the Nations whose territories we operate in to decide if farms stay in the ocean, not yours. 

“BC Salmon Farmers are committed to sustainable and responsible farming practices and have a proven track record of working with local communities and Indigenous peoples to protect the environment and promote growth in the Blue Economy. The salmon farming sector in British Columbia is a vital part of the local economy, providing $1.2 billion in annual economic activity and supporting thousands of families and businesses throughout the region. 

“We encourage you to do your due diligence and speak with the First Nations within whose territories we operate, as well as the many supplier and service companies that rely on our sector to understand our sector’s real impacts on these communities.”

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