Fisheries minister rejected department’s advice over BC salmon farm phase out

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Memo shows that Fisheries and Oceans Canada recommended more time, but Fisheries Minister’ Bernadette Jordan went against it.

It’s been reported that the BC salmon farming industry has said that it needs more time to “minimise the pain” from Discovery Island’s salmon phase-out. 15 months remain on Discovery Islands’ leases before the deadline for removal.

Following the news, all of BC’s main salmon farmers including Mowi, Cermaq and Grieg pushed for court intervention.

Politico now reports that a memo has revealed fisheries minister’s phase-out of B.C. salmon farms went against department advice, which would have given the industry more time.

On Dec. 8, Fisheries and Oceans Canada recommended the minister reissue licenses for the 19 farms until mid-2022, to allow more time for consultations with industry and local First Nations. But a week later, Jordan rejected the department’s advice.

A spokesperson for Jordan told Politico in a statement that it was up to the minister, not the department, to determine the future of the Discovery Islands salmon farms.

“The memorandum in question summarises the meetings held by departmental officials with First Nations, and does not account for those held by the minister, her parliamentary secretary, or her staff,” the spokesperson said.