Letter on Fish Farms and Protection of Wild Salmon
Thank you for sharing your concerns about fish farms and their impact on wild salmon. I very much share your concerns. The protection of Canada’s wild salmon is a top priority for the Green Party of Canada. As you probably know, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) anticipated that five million salmon would return to the Fraser River this year, but it recently revised that estimate to 600,000. This is a serious crisis and we must immediately take a much more active and focused approach to restoring salmon stocks on the West Coast.
With respect to fish farms, the Green Party commits to moving all open-net pen finfish aquaculture facilities into closed containment systems on land by 2025 if we form a government. If a minority government is elected on October 21, then this issue will be raised as part of our negotiations over Green party support for a minority government. As with land farmers’ transitional costs from conventional production, fish pen workers will be provided with financial and extension support during this transition.
More generally, a Green government will remove DFO’s mandate to promote salmon aquaculture and shift regulation of aquaculture to Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, thereby eliminating DFO’s conflicting roles of aquaculture promotion and wild salmon protection.
Greens will also increase funding for research on fish stocks to improve management and protect endangered species, including western salmon populations. Additionally, as your Green Member of Parliament, I will work to expand marine protected areas from 10 to 30 percent of Canada’s territorial waters by 2030.
For more information on Green Party policies, I invite you to review our election platform in the Learn section of our website at davidmerner.com and our climate action plan, Mission: Possible, at DavidMerner.com/mission-possible.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Green Party of Canada Candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke