Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Young salmon are released after being grown in a hatchery. (Photo by Fernando Lessa/www.fernandolessa.ca)

Judge grants injunction to restock two B.C. salmon farms

1.2 million hatchery fish about to be euthanized

A Federal Court judge has granted an injunction to allow restocking of two salmon farms on the B.C. coast with young fish, after 19 were ordered closed by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan by June 2022.

The decision allows Mowi Canada West to restock two operations in the Discovery Islands, as a separate court action by Mowi, Cermaq Canada, Grieg Seafood and Saltstream continues over the abrupt decision to shut down aquaculture in the region after 30 years. Saltstream operates a third farm for Chinook salmon rather than Atlantic salmon, and is also covered by the injunction.

“The harm to Mowi and Saltstream, as well as their employees, their families and other businesses in the community, in particular First Nations businesses, will be real and substantial if the injunction is not granted, and if Mowi and Saltstream are not permitted to proceed with the transfer of fish they require to undertake as part of their operations,” Justice Peter George Pamel wrote in a decision released April 5.

Dean Dobrinsky, human resources director for Mowi Canada West, said the company still has to apply to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to do the transfer of more than 1.2 million fish that would otherwise have to be euthanized.

“We have two sites, one at Port Elizabeth and one at Larsen Island that presently have nursery fish that we need to transfer,” Dobrinsky said in an interview April 6. “What it means is the minister in making the decision on the transfer licence has to go back and basically look at the science.”

RELATED: Coastal communities ‘blindsided’ by decision, MPs say

RELATED: Island mayors say they weren’t consulted on closure

Homalco Chief Darren Blaney, representing one of seven area Indigenous communities consulted over the closure and an ocean aquaculture opponent, issued a statement after the ruling, emphasizing that permission for the transfer is still needed.

“The minister must consult and accommodate those seven First Nations in the Discovery Islands regarding any applications for the fish farms at Doctor Bay, Phillips Arm and Hardwicke,” Blaney said.

Dobrinsky said Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists did what the Cohen Commission recommended, and reviewed the risk of salmon farms on sockeye salmon migration routes through the region.

“The nine-year study found that there was less than minimal risk from the farms to the wild Fraser River sockeye,” Dobrinsky said. “And then the minister added what appears to be additional conditions, which were this notion of social acceptance. That was a new set of conditions that we’ve never operate under.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

CNC’s Applied Research and Innovation had partnered with the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cariboo Agricultural Research Alliance and Mackin Creek Farm after receiving funding from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to research a number of solutions potentially extending northern growing seasons. (Photo submitted)
Ways to extend growing season in B.C.’s north explored by College of New Caledonia in Quesnel

Low-cost supplemental LED lighting appears to benefit plant growth

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Binche residents Doug Connors (left) with Ross Duncan and Paul Lewis were thrilled after a mission to rescue a moose stranded on Stuart Lake was successful Friday, April 2. (Photo submitted)
Daring moose rescue on Stuart Lake garners national attention

“I’m just saving an animal,” said Ross Duncan with Paul Lewis and Doug Connors

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read