PSF responds to DFO aquaculture licence review


PSF strongly believes that contemplating open-net pen aquaculture licenses of up to six years is in direct conflict with the open-net pen transition plan promised for 2025. We should be moving away from licensing open-net pen aquaculture and not delaying the transition process. We have shared these concerns in a recent letter to Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and through the related federal consultation.

The invitation from DFO for feedback on proposed licence changes and licence reissuance states that this process is an operational activity and distinct from the open-net pen transition plan. However, PSF believes that these processes are inextricably linked and license durations should not extend past the release of the Government of Canada’s Transition Plan in 2025.

A decade of rigorous, peer-reviewed science led by PSF, DFO, First Nations, and others outlines numerous risks open-net pen salmon farms pose to wild Pacific salmon through the amplification and transfer of harmful parasites and pathogens. Due to the troubled status of many salmon populations, PSF supports a transition of open-net pen salmon farms from B.C. waters to closed containment in order to reduce the risks they pose to wild populations.

DFO is expected to finalize the 2024 Marine Finfish Conditions of License between April and June.  The current conditions are available online.


More information on open-net pen salmon farms in British Columbia: