Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Judge grants injunction to restock two B.C. salmon farms

1.2 million hatchery fish about to be euthanized

A Federal Court judge has granted an injunction to allow restocking of two salmon farms on the B.C. coast with young fish, after 19 were ordered closed by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan by June 2022.

The decision allows Mowi Canada West to restock two operations in the Discovery Islands, as a separate court action by Mowi, Cermaq Canada, Grieg Seafood and Saltstream continues over the abrupt decision to shut down aquaculture in the region after 30 years. Saltstream operates a third farm for Chinook salmon rather than Atlantic salmon, and is also covered by the injunction.

“The harm to Mowi and Saltstream, as well as their employees, their families and other businesses in the community, in particular First Nations businesses, will be real and substantial if the injunction is not granted, and if Mowi and Saltstream are not permitted to proceed with the transfer of fish they require to undertake as part of their operations,” Justice Peter George Pamel wrote in a decision released April 5.

Dean Dobrinsky, human resources director for Mowi Canada West, said the company still has to apply to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to do the transfer of more than 1.2 million fish that would otherwise have to be euthanized.

“We have two sites, one at Port Elizabeth and one at Larsen Island that presently have nursery fish that we need to transfer,” Dobrinsky said in an interview April 6. “What it means is the minister in making the decision on the transfer licence has to go back and basically look at the science.”

RELATED: Coastal communities ‘blindsided’ by decision, MPs say

RELATED: Island mayors say they weren’t consulted on closure

Homalco Chief Darren Blaney, representing one of seven area Indigenous communities consulted over the closure and an ocean aquaculture opponent, issued a statement after the ruling, emphasizing that permission for the transfer is still needed.

“The minister must consult and accommodate those seven First Nations in the Discovery Islands regarding any applications for the fish farms at Doctor Bay, Phillips Arm and Hardwicke,” Blaney said.

Dobrinsky said Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists did what the Cohen Commission recommended, and reviewed the risk of salmon farms on sockeye salmon migration routes through the region.

“The nine-year study found that there was less than minimal risk from the farms to the wild Fraser River sockeye,” Dobrinsky said. “And then the minister added what appears to be additional conditions, which were this notion of social acceptance. That was a new set of conditions that we’ve never operate under.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsSalmon farming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Kitimat has announced to continue their free transit fares for all students in kindergarten to Grade 12. The pilot project will continue to run until August 2023, and will be reviewed in 2023 to see if it will be renewed. (Black Press photo)
Free student transit fare pilot project continues in Kitimat

The project was launched in September 2020 and allowed students to board buses for free

Kitimat Search and Rescue was tasked by RCMP on Friday, April 21 2021, requesting help in finding three lost hikers north of the Smith Street hiking trail. Hikers were found and brought back into town at 8 pm. (Kitimat Search and Rescue logo)
Kitimat SAR find three lost hikers

Kitimat SAR issued a warning to locals using the trails

Gates will open at 8:30 p.m. with the first film starting around 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (AFFNO file photo)
AFFNO hosts french film in the Kitimat-Stikine and Northcoast Region

AFFNO had to create different approaches this year to set up events

(Clare Rayment photo)
Column: Whether weather correlates to your mood

Nearly nine per cent of people fall into a ‘rain haters’ category

Adrian Tryssenaar performing as Elvis at the Gyro Park Bandshell in Penticton, 2004. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Adrian Tryssenaar

Kitimat’s king of rock

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read