Mowi Canada West files injunction against government over mass salmon cull

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Salmon farmer says that lack of dialogue forced its hand to pursue legal action.

Sea West News reports that Mowi Canada West filed an injunction on Wednesday against the federal government seeking time to grow out the fish, most of which are about three years old, to market size.

In February, SalmonBusiness reported that Mowi Canada West was going to cull 2.6 million smolt as a result of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s December decision to phase out existing salmon farming facilities in the Discovery Islands, British Columbia.

At the time, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said that the decision to cull the fish was “unfortunate”.

“The government is not directing the company to take this action. While the minister has indicated her intention that transfers into the Discovery Islands to new finfish will no longer be possible, DFO has not denied a request to transfer these fish to Mowi’s many other aquaculture sites,” the department said in February.

The application to the Federal Court primarily seeks to suspend certain aspects of the Discovery Island’s policy and allow the transfer of the 12 million salmon to Mowi’s Phillips Arm and Hardwicke farm sites, further north and north west.

Mowi Canada West managing director Dr. Diane Morrison told the publication that despite repeated requests Fisheries Minister Jordan has not spoken to the company since her decision.

“We would have preferred to avoid legal action but the government’s refusal to consider alternative plans or even have a dialogue has forced our hand,” she said.