New aquaculture initiatives need to ‘move quickly,’ says SeaChoice
December 11, 2018
By Aquaculture North America Staff
SeaChoice is coming out in support of the Canadian government’s new initiatives to improve the aquaculture sector and protect wild salmon populations.
“We expect any new legislative scheme to place the welfare of wild fish first in the consideration of fisheries managers, and to ensure that monitoring and evaluation of impacts on wild fish act as effective triggers for management action on the farms,” says John Werring, SeaChoice representative from the David Suzuki Foundation.
SeaChoice says Canada currently produces a total 120,000 MT from the open-net pens on both coasts, comparing the number to land-based production in other publicly announced facilities worldwide.
“We need to move quickly on a legislative and regulatory framework that is broad enough to enable and incent a transition to land-based aquaculture,” says Karen Wristen, Living Oceans’ representative to SeaChoice. “If the salmon aquaculture industry is to grow and increase its markets, this is where it’s going to have to go.”
A new Aquaculture Act should properly price the ecosystem services that open-net pen aquaculture takes from the ocean, SeaChoice says in a release. Adding that issues such as degradation of water and sea-floor, mortality of juvenile wild fish, bycatch and consumption of wild fish by farmed fish aren’t factored in to the cost of aquaculture operational licensing or provincial tenures.
“Appropriate and escalating licensing fees can be used to spur investment in cleaner technology,” says Shannon Arnold, SeaChoice representative from the Ecology Action Centre.
SeaChoice is a collaboration between the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society.