March 4th, 2022
NDP bill would support wild salmon populations and the communities that rely on them
OTTAWA - Today, the NDP Critic for Oceans, Fisheries and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lisa Marie Barron, tabled legislation to support wild salmon populations and Canadian fishers. Without urgent action, the declining wild salmon populations will have a devastating effect on British Columbia’s ecosystem and the future of people’s livelihoods.
“Across B.C. we’ve seen commercial and recreational fisheries forced to stop fishing because wild salmon populations are in such a sharp decline. They have been fixtures of our tourism and fishery industry and if we don’t act now, these sectors will be severely threatened costing many the jobs they rely on to make ends meet,” said Barron. “Wild salmon don’t just play a big role in the local economy but are also a cornerstone of our ecosystem. They feed southern resident killer whales, bears, eagles and countless other species. These salmon populations also have a huge importance to local Indigenous communities who have relied on them for centuries. It is essential that everything is done to protect them.”
A recent poll from Insight West found that 86 per cent of British Columbians are worried about wild salmon and want to see urgent action to address fish farms in B.C. waters. While the Liberals have included a transition from the open-net containment fish farms by 2025 that pollute nutrient sources for wild populations, introduce chemicals into the water, and introduce diseases that threaten wild populations, the government is still considering applications for new licenses for these farms and the expansion of existing fish farms.
The NDP bill would ensure that the federal government takes the important first step of ensuring that any fin fish aquaculture is done in closed-containment facilities and that the government begins developing a transition plan for workers in the fish farming industry.
“The experts are calling on the Liberal government to immediately move away from open containment salmon farms,” added Barron. “I hope all Parliamentarians will recognize the importance of this bill and support it before it’s too late for our ecosystems, wildlife and fishers.”
You can watch Lisa Marie Barron introduce her bill in the House of Commons HERE.
Read more about Bill C-258 HERE.
Sign our petition to end open net fish farming HERE.