Trudeau farm ban plan ‘non­sense’ says Cana­dian sal­mon sec­tor

Fish Farmer - - World News -

CANADA’S sal­mon farm­ers have one word for Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s plan to ban open net sal­mon farm­ing in British Columbia: non­sense.

Trudeau’s Lib­eral Party, backed by the Green Party, has in­cluded the pledge to move all ocean based sal­mon farms in British Columbia to land based closed con­tain­ment sys­tems by 2025 in its man­i­festo for the forth­com­ing fed­eral elec­tions.

But sal­mon farm­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions across Canada have been quick to at­tack the pro­posal.

Tim­o­thy Kennedy, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Cana­dian Aquacultur­e In­dus­try Al­liance (CAIA), said: ‘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.’

The At­lantic Canada Fish Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (ACFFA) agreed, say­ing that the lack of knowl­edge be­hind the elec­tion prom­ises was ‘quite as­ton­ish­ing, es­pe­cially from two par­ties that claim to be se­ri­ous about tak­ing ac­tion on cli­mate change’.

ACFFA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Su­san Far­quhar­son pub­lished a re­sponse on the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site, with a warn­ing of the dire con­se­quences of the po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated ini­tia­tive.

‘Even if it were pos­si­ble to move all ocean based farms to land by 2025 (which it’s not be­cause the tech­nol­ogy does not ex­ist on that scale), such a move would bring sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal, fish health wel­fare con­cerns and dev­as­tat­ing so­cio-eco­nomic dam­age in ru­ral coastal com­mu­ni­ties.

‘Our sal­mon farm­ers are ex­perts in closed con­tain­ment be­cause their fish spend more than half their lives in land based hatch­eries where wa­ter re­cir­cu­la­tion sys­tems are used.

‘Land based tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues to evolve (sal­mon farm­ers are the ones driv­ing that in­no­va­tion!), but at this point, the ev­i­dence is clear: the ocean is the best place for that fi­nal stage for sal­mon to grow from smolts to mar­ket size – just as they do in na­ture.

‘Those who ad­vo­cate mov­ing all sal­mon farms from the ocean onto land need to re­alise that the prac­tice of grow­ing sal­mon to full ma­tu­rity in tanks poses very real chal­lenges.

‘To grow sal­mon to mar­ket size and meet the global de­mand would re­quire mas­sive amounts of land, wa­ter and en­ergy. And most im­por­tantly there are an­i­mal wel­fare con­sid­er­a­tions.’

Far­quhar­son added that in­creased use of land based farms would en­cour­age the re­lo­ca­tion of pro­duc­tion closer to the main mar­kets.

‘This would have a ma­jor so­cio-eco­nomic im­pact on coastal com­mu­ni­ties around the world,’ she said.

At­lantic sal­mon is one of the most en­ergy ef­fi­cient farmed an­i­mals, and ‘decades of peer re­viewed re­search show that sal­mon farms have lit­tle long-term im­pact on the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment’.

Far­quhar­son said the elec­tion prom­ises were an ‘at­tempt to pan­der for votes to a vo­cal mi­nor­ity who op­pose sal­mon farm­ing in British Columbia’.

On the east coast, the ma­jor­ity of At­lantic Cana­di­ans sup­port sal­mon farm­ing.

Cana­di­ans vote on Oc­to­ber 21. Trudeau has been in power since 2015 but his fu­ture is look­ing un­cer­tain, say polls.

Above: Justin Trudeau

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.