Canadian Federation of Agriculture Stands by Salmon Farmers Over Government Decision to Ban Open Net Pens

Jun 21, 2024

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), who represents 190,000 farm families across Canada has raised significant concerns over today’s decision by the Canadian federal government to ban open net pen salmon farms from BC coastal waters by 2029. The CFA believes this action will undermine the future of the critical Canadian agricultural industry and have ripple effects on food security and the economic prospects for farmers and communities across Canada’s West coast, as well as the rest of the country.

CFA finds this decision to be an alarming signal from the Canadian government to aquaculture and the agriculture sector. 

The decision to remove open net pen salmon farms from BC coastal waters not only jeopardizes a critical food supply that provides 400 million meals of salmon each year, but it discourages any future investments in Canadian agriculture and farming, a strategic economic driver across the country. It also threatens the future of thousands of workers, approximately 500 of which are held by Indigenous people, will take away $1.2 billion in economic output, and hinder ongoing investments in improved environmental performance.

In addition to the loss of jobs and economic contributions in a period of challenging economic conditions for all Canadians, this sends a concerning signal for those looking to invest in Canadian agriculture, hurting not only the future prospects of Canada’s farmers but also the coastal communities and local First Nations who have established partnerships within the salmon farming sector.

Furthermore, the CFA is concerned that this decision undermines the federal government's commitments to science-based decision-making and the support for rural coastal communities. Rather than present a responsible plan that advances incremental protections for wild salmon and supports the sector in their continuous adoption of innovative new protection measures, the plan put forward presents no viable pathway to maintain the sector’s food production and economic contributions.

“Salmon farming in BC is a key contributor to national food security, contributes significantly to the economy and provides a sustainable source of protein,” said Keith Currie, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “The limited license duration increases uncertainty, threatening the stability of the agricultural sector and the communities that depend on it.”

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture remains committed to collaborating with government, First Nations, and other stakeholders to secure a viable and prosperous future for the salmon farming and agricultural industries. The CFA urges the federal government to reconsider its approach and ensure decisions are grounded in robust scientific evidence, promoting long-term stability and growth for the sector.

“It is essential for the government to provide longer-term stability to enable the salmon farming sector to recover from recent declines and to continue contributing to Canada's economic growth through innovation and sustainable practices,” added Currie.

Source : CFA-FCA
Subscribe to our Newsletters

Trending Video