VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and spokesperson for wild salmon, issued the following statement of support for the group of local chefs calling for an end to open net-pen wild salmon farming. A letter signed by over 50 chefs was sent to Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development Minister Donaldson and Agriculture Minister Popham calling for the end to open pen-net fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, whose tenures are up for renewal this spring.
“Wild salmon are of irreplaceable economic and cultural importance to our province,” said Olsen.
“First Nations have been sounding the alarm about the need to protect wild salmon stocks. The call from these chefs today underscores how valuable this species is to our economy and to our local cultures throughout the province.
“The evidence is clear that open net-pen farms in migratory routes, such as in the Broughton Archipelago, pose significant risks to wild salmon populations. The B.C. NDP government promised to phase out open net-pen farms in migratory routes during the election. The Minister of Transportation promised the ‘Namgis First Nation that an NDP government would remove fish farms from their territory. With these tenures now up for renewal there is no excuse to delay.”
In addition to an end to salmon farming in migratory routes, Olsen has called for a dedicated representative for wild salmon in government, such as a secretariat or commissioner. Currently, responsibility for wild salmon is distributed amongst six different government ministries, as well as the federal Department of Fisheries, making it difficult to hold Ministers accountable for restoring wild salmon stocks to healthy, sustainable levels. Olsen will be holding Wild Salmon Secretariat/Commissioner forum in Vancouver later this month to consult with stakeholders. Olsen is also recently launched a social media campaign #MySalmonStory to invite British Columbians to share what wild salmon means to them.
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