Anti-fish farm MP Joyce Murray named Canada’s new minister of fisheries

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New Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Joyce Murray, looks set to continue her predecessor’s hard line against open-net salmon farms. 

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the results of his cabinet reshuffle. Vancouver MP Joyce Murray has been named Canada’s new Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance issued a statement congratulating Murray on her appointment.

“The members of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) would like to welcome the Honourable Joyce Murray as the new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and express their enthusiasm to work together to realize the opportunities for Canada through sector development.”

Despite the warm words, the evidence indicates that Murray will also take a hard line against the aquaculture industry.

The MP for Vancouver-Quadra, who has been an MP since 2008, signed a recent pre-election petition organised by anti-fish farm activists to end open-net salmon aquaculture in British Columbia.

A statement on her website reads, “As Vancouver Quadra’s MP. I led the push for our Government’s commitment to setting a fixed-end date for open-net pens, and transitioning to an environmentally safer way of raising salmon, while protecting remote Indigenous workers’ jobs”.

The appointment comes after former Minister of Fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, lost her reelection bid in her local riding in Nova Scotia.

Jordan’s loss was partially blamed on controversial fisheries policies she pushed for, including a plan to shift aquaculture in British Columbia from in-ocean pens to land-based formats, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s handling of Indigenous fishing rights in Nova Scotia.