Scientists had requested a transfer of 3,000 Chinook salmon smolts from their hatchery to their Discovery Islands facility.
Canadian Fisheries Minister, Joyce Murray, has approved a fish transfer licence application by a small aquaculture operation in the Discovery Islands, where salmon farmers have previously been ordered by Ottawa to cease operations.
The licence extension and transfer permit issued to Yellow Island Aquaculture is “in the interest of ocean science” said Murray, in a statement issued last week.
“The Yellow Island site supports a multi-year research program that has studied the effects of prebiotics and probiotics on Chinook salmon since 2018. The information collected here will contribute to improved understanding of salmon immunity.”
Yellow Island Aquaculture is a small, fully-integrated Pacific salmon hatchery and farm located on Quadra Island, which is part of the Discovery Islands, east of Campbell River on Vancouver Island.
In her statement, Murray continued, “The scientists conducting the study requested a transfer of 3,000 Chinook salmon smolts from their hatchery to their Discovery Islands facility for an additional two months, to ensure they have consistent, reliable data for this year of their study. After carefully reviewing their application, and given the time-limited nature of the request, I have granted the licence extension and transfer permit, in the interest of ocean science.”
Last April, as the judicial review process was underway, the Federal Court ruled that fish farmers in BC’s Discovery Islands can continue stocking their ocean pens with baby salmon while they challenge Ottawa’s decision to remove them from the area.