Fish farmer says that it supports government process that means at least 17 sites in Broughton Archipelago in British Columbia will close.
In a press release, Marine Harvest has said that they supports the path forward regarding salmon aquaculture in the Broughton Archipelago announced in Victoria by the Government of British Columbia and the Governments of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mix, ‘Namgis, and Mamalilikulla First Nations.
The plan, as announced by B.C. Premier John Horgan, representatives of the First Nations, and salmon farming companies including Marine Harvest Canada, will protect wild salmon, address longstanding First Nations concerns about finfish aquaculture in the area and protect resource jobs.
“We approached these discussions seeking solutions that would both address the concerns of the First Nations and maintain our commitment to the wellbeing of our employees, support businesses, and stakeholders. Going forward, we see the implementation of the recommendations as a positive step toward building mutual goodwill, trust, and respect as we work to earn First Nations consent of our operations in their Territories,” said Marine Harvest Canada Managing Director, Dr. Diane Morrison.
Marine Harvest Canada said that it had operated farms in the area for the past 30 years, and this path forward will ensure a viable production area is maintained during the transition period and allow for business adjustments to be made.
The compamny saud that this agreed to plan is not an expression of First Nations’ consent to our operations during the transition period of 2018 to 2023 in the Broughton Area. However it also said that “the jointly endorsed plan provides important business certainty that will allow the company to focus on growing healthy fish and engaging communities in a meaningful way.”
Marine Harvest Canada is actively implementing jointly endorsed Broughton Steering Committee Recommendations by announcing today that the company intends to begin discussion with interested First Nation, provincial and federal governments to develop an ocean-based containment pilot project. This project will add to the extensive research and development Marine Harvest currently has underway in Norway.
“First Nations have expressed great concern regarding the wild salmon stocks in the area. Every employee of Marine Harvest Canada shares the same concern. This is plan will see capacity for First Nations Monitoring and Salmon Restoration increased, we believe this is long over-due,” said Dr. Morrison.
To meet the planned transition and maintain the company’s annual harvest volume over time, Marine Harvest Canada will need to apply for, and have approved, a number of license and tenure amendments to shift production from sites that will be decommissioned to other sites. Marine Harvest Canada also intends to seek out new salmon farming sites where there is First Nations interest and consent. As a first step in this transition, Marine Harvest Canada will withdraw its tenure replacement applications for Arrow Passage and Glacier Falls, and will notify the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development that we will relinquish the tenure at Potts Bay.
Annual 12 thousand tonne harvest
Marine Harvest Canada participated in many meetings with the Steering Committee, and throughout the engagement described the complexities of the eight-year fish production cycle and the direct connections between the fish raised on farms in the Broughton Archipelago to the business cycle, business model, supply chain and value chain. The annual harvest supports year-round operations at Marine Harvest’s Port Hardy Processing Plant, and as one of five production areas, supports the value-added processing plant in Surrey.
Overall, there is an annual 12 thousand tonne harvest of salmon raised on 12 farms in the area that generates approximately $200-million towards the economy, 461 jobs and includes $51-million spent with suppliers, of which 174 are located on northern Vancouver Island.