“The Harper government has locked the BC coast into dirty salmon with these 9-year licences. When this all started, THE FISHERMAN reporter Geoff Meggs reported this industry would see the end of the common property public fishery, he is right. These 9-year licences are just first on the Norwegian’s wish list. They also want to own salmon in the ocean, a first for Canada, remove section 36 of the Fisheries Act so that they can use chemicals that kill fish in their ongoing losing drug war on sea lice, the CFIA would like the authority to cull diseased WILD salmon to protect the FARMED salmon (see Proposed Aquaculture Regulations) and they already have licence to transfer diseased fish from their hatcheries into salmon farms on our wild salmon migration routes. Unthinkable back in the 1990s this is biological madness, you cannot recall viruses. I took Canada to court on this, decision pending 8 months now. Oh and BTW it is over $1 million for a salmon farming licence in Norway, currently the industry is paying zero. If you want wild salmon, you are going to have to speak with your MP candidates. Dirty salmon will not exist long enough to pass onto our children, this industry is a flash in the pan, compared to what we already have”. Dr. Alexandra Morton, post to Face Book February 17 2015.
The federal government will issue multi-year licences for finfish and shellfish aquaculture facilities in B.C. to promote investment in sustainable design and technology by the industry.
Licenses issued in B.C. by Fisheries and Oceans Canada have previously been limited to one year, which may have discouraged operators from making significant investments in more secure — and more expensive — ocean-based facilities and in land-based hatcheries, according to Jeremy Dunn, executive director of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association.
Multi-year licences may be issued for up to nine years, according to the Fisheries Act.
“We have been working with one-year renewable licences, which presents some challenges when your fish are in the water for upwards of 18 months,” said Dunn.
Companies are looking for long-term security when they consider multi-million-dollar investments in pens and hatcheries that supply ocean-based facilities with young fish, he said.
“Having multi-year licences would provide more certainty, but we would still need to meet all DFO’s standards and conditions,” said Dunn.
A moratorium on aquaculture development in the Discovery Islands — recommended by the Cohen Commission — remains in effect and multi-year licences will not be available to facilities in that area, according to the DFO.
A proposal tabled in the House of Commons calls for annual fees ranging from a few hundred dollars for “mom-and-pop” shellfish farms to about $10,000 a year for an average-sized ocean-based net-pen farm, said Eric Gilbert, director general of aquaculture for the DFO.
Fees for multi-year licences would be paid in annual increments to avoid creating a financial burden on producers, he said.
There are more than 110 active licences for finfish aquaculture on the West Coast, mainly for ocean-based Atlantic salmon farms, but also for coho, chinook, trout, sablefish and halibut. The industry supports about 6,000 jobs in B.C., mainly in rural communities and 14,000 across Canada.