Aquaculture North America

Open letter urges Trudeau to support industry

June 28, 2023
By Matt Jones

Tim Kennedy

A joint open letter has been sent to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urging him to change course on the federal government’s approach to open-net pen fish farming. 

The federal government has pledged to phase out open-net pen farming by 2025 and Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray is expected to present options for a B.C. salmon farms transition framework soon. The letter was co-signed by Tim Kennedy, president and CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, as well as other representatives of the Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship, among others.

“To date, recent government actions have shut down 40 percent of B.C. salmon farming production,” reads one section of the letter. “Your government continues to consider actions that could result in further reductions, despite the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ peer-reviewed science that says there is minimal or negligible effects from salmon farms on wild salmon. You have said many times that science and evidence will form the basis of policy and regulation under your government, and we remind you of your commitment.”

The letter also cites that salmon farming provides jobs for over 14,000 Canadians and produces high-quality and sustainable protein to millions in Canada and around the world. Between food retail, food banks, processors, feed manufacturers and others, over 3,000 different companies supply the farming sector. Further, it’s economic benefits are crucial for a variety of different communities.

“Grounded in evidence-based policy, it is Canada’s obligation to deliver the best, sustainable, high-quality and affordable food to Canadians, while also growing jobs, driving economic growth and supplying this food to the world,” the letter concludes. “We appeal to you to support B.C. salmon farmers as an integral and growing part of Canadian food production.”

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