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Trudeau’s aquaculture pledge faces challenges

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 7, 2020
According to a new government report, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign pledge to ban ocean net pen farming in British Columbia faces several challenges.
Canadian fishermen
Aquaculture in Canada   Canadian fishermen
According to reporting from Fish Farmer Magazine, Analysis from Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) finds that a complete move to land-based production for BC salmon farmers by 2025 would involve several hurdles.

Topics: Trudeau aquaculture

The report, released on 5 February, outlines the feasibility of four technologies: offshore open pen systems, floating closed containment systems (CCS), land-based RAS and hybrids involving land and marine-based systems. The report also covers technologies that support production systems – sensors, control systems, smart farming, robotics and broodstock development.

During the Parliamentary elections in October 2019, Trudeau announced that he wanted to move away from net pen farming in BC to closed containment systems by 2025, a move that caught many industry members off guard. After the election, his new fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced she has five years to prepare a plan for the transition.

Tim Kennedy, president and chief executive of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), said Trudeau’s plan for BC was “a reckless policy, not grounded in science, and it will threaten good middle class jobs across Canada”.

According to the DFO report, land-based RAS and hybrid systems are commercially viable in BC, but floating closed containment systems and offshore technologies require an additional period of review.


 

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