PSF Statement: Government of Canada decision on Discovery Islands fish farms


February 17, 2023

Today, the Pacific Salmon Foundation applauds the Government of Canada, under the leadership of the Hon. Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO), for the decision to reduce risk to wild Pacific salmon by not renewing 15 licenses for open-net pen Atlantic salmon farms in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands.

This decision is a consequential step forward in the collective efforts to reduce risks to wild Pacific salmon. A decade of rigorous, peer-reviewed research undertaken by PSF and partners has outlined numerous risks open-net pen salmon farms pose to wild Pacific salmon through the amplification and transfer of harmful parasites and pathogens.

Given the perilous state of many Pacific salmon stocks that migrate past the Discovery Islands, we believe that this decision is an important measure to protect wild salmon and support our shared goals to rebuild Pacific salmon stocks in British Columbia.

The Government of Canada’s decision will support the broader recovery efforts of wild Pacific salmon such as Fraser River Sockeye that are experiencing historic declines. As Pacific salmon face complex stressors due to rapid and intensifying impacts of climate change as well as human impacts on their ecosystems, we commend the decision to address a risk factor that’s within our control.

We all depend on the health of wild Pacific salmon and their future depends on the decisions we make to support their recovery.


  • Braela Kwan, Communications Coordinator:
  • Allison Colina, Vice President, Development, Marketing, and Communications: (778) 855-5558