Five salmon farms decommisioned (with more to come) as First Nations reach agreement with Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West over phase out plan

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Big changes for salmon farming in Broughton Archipelago in British Columbia, Canada.

In a joint press release, both First Nations and salmon farmers Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West have outlined the programme which will oversee the phase-out of least 17 sites in Broughton Archipelago in British Columbia, Canada, by 2023.

The Indigenous Monitoring and Inspection Plan (IMIP) establishes a formal process for First Nations oversight of fish farms operating in the Territories of the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations.

In December 2018, SalmonBusiness reported on the government-to-government process to implement a new farm-free migration corridor to help reduce harm to wild salmon.

On September 6, 2019, the First Nations reached an agreement with each of Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West on the IMIP.

“This will to be to establish a farm-free migration corridor in the Broughton in the short term to help reduce potential harm to wild salmon,” the co-authors of the press release wrote. “And to develop a First Nations-led monitoring and inspection program to oversee those farms during the transition, which will include compliance requirements and corrective measures”.

Under the agreement, salmon farmers will have to:

• Implement new technologies to address environmental risks including sea lice;
• Call for immediate action to enhance wild salmon habitat restoration and rehabilitation in the Broughton;
• Confirm a willingness to work together to put into place the agreements and protocols necessary to implement the recommendations, including continued collaboration with the federal government; and
• Secure economic development and employment opportunities by increasing support for First Nations implementation activities and industry transition opportunities outside the Broughton.

To date, five farms have already been decommissioned, 12 others will remain in operations for various terms (two to four years). By the end 2022, 10 farms in total will have ceased operations permanently. The remaining seven farms will cease operations, unless agreements between First Nations and fish farm operators, and valid Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) licences are in place by 2023.