Because Wild Salmon Can’t Speak… Our voices are needed in DFO’s aquaculture management process
For the sake of BC’s Wild Salmon and all that depends on them, it is extremely important that British Columbians provide input into DFO’s management of aquaculture whenever possible. One such opportunity, with a fast approaching deadline of December 19th, is to comment on DFO’s proposed licensing fees for BC aquaculture. A few of the key concerns identified by theSOS Marine Conservation Foundation and theWatershed Watch Salmon Society are:
- OCEAN HEALTH: The proposed fees for open net salmon farming fail to consider the impacts and costs to the health of the marine environment. The cost of the uncontrolled deposit of waste into the ocean has not been included in the proposed licensing fee. (The good thing is that the proposed fees for land based aquaculture reflect no impact on the marine environment.)
- LOW FEES: The proposed fees for open net aquaculture appear to be much lower than in other countries. Fees for one site in Norway are more than what would be the total from ALL open net fish farm sites in BC combined. The estimated fee revenue from BC aquaculture ($815,196) is a fraction of what it costs to regulate the industry (over $8 million).
- TIMELINES AND CONSULTATION: Aquaculture licences are currently renewed annually. DFO is now considering multi-year licences. The “proposed service standards” to industry have timelines that would not allow for appropriate public and First Nation consultation and environmental assessment.
The Discussion Document on BC Aquaculture License Fees can be found at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/programs-programmes/licence-permis-eng.htm
Submissions made via this link http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/programs-programmes/discussion-eng.htm
Deadline: 11:59 PM PST December 19th, 2013.
Salmon image: © 2010 Bruce Paterson