Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office said that Mowi’s intention to cull fish is unfortunate but the government is not directing the company to take this option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office said that Mowi’s intention to cull fish is unfortunate but the government is not directing the company to take this option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Feds says they are not on the hook for Mowi decision to cull 2.6 million farmed fish

DFO says it has not ordered the cull nor denied transfer to other sites

The federal government says it has not asked Mowi to cull fish or stopped them from transferring smolts to other sites the aquaculture company has in the province.

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan’s office issued a statement in response to Mowi’s claim earlier this week that the Dec. 17 federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery fish farms within 18 months might lead to 2.6 million smolts being culled from their Vancouver Island hatcheries if they were unable to find a home for them.

READ MORE: Mowi backtracks on fish cull losses – 8.3 million to 2.6 million

Calling the company’s decision to cull fish as “unfortunate,” the minister’s office also said that there were no federal regulations stopping the company from transferring these smolts to other farm sites that the company manages in the region.

Mowi has about 27 sites in the region. Of that, nine to 10 farms near the Discovery Islands will be phased out owing to Jordan’s decision to shut them down after consulting seven First Nations who hold title in the area.

“Mowi’s stated intention to cull fish is unfortunate, but the government is not directing the company to take this action. While the Minister has indicated her intention that transfers into the Discovery Islands of new finfish will no longer be possible, DFO has not denied a request to transfer of these fish to Mowi’s many other aquaculture sites,” said Jordan’s office in an email statement to the Mirror.

On Feb.10, Mowi said that the decisions by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan were “unreasonable” and left them no time to plan for alternative locations for these fish.

In response to the aquaculture firms saying that the 18-months grace period to phase fish farms was too short a time to plan their five-year processing cycle, the minister’s office said that the licenses were always subject to yearly renewals since the past ten years and “always with the understanding that a decision would be made by the end of 2020.”

Jordan’s office also said the decision to phase out the fish farms was made after much consultation with the First Nations in the area.

“In 2021, Canadians expect First Nations to have a say in what economic activity occurs on their territory. These pens were not the right fit for the area.”

READ ALSO: Discovery Islands salmon farms on their way out

Fish Farms

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School in Hazelton is being shut down for a week by the Gitanmaax Band Council following a confirmation of a COVID-19 exposure there on Feb. 26. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Hazelton school COVID-19 closure extended one week

With spring break on horizon, Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary will be closed to end of March

BC CDC graphic showing weekly numbers of new cases by local health area.
Local health area records 11 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 21 to 27

The Northwest has become the COVID hotspot in the province

The Smithers recycling depot was destroyed by fire May 9, 2019. (Thom Barker photo)
Curbside recycling pickup returns to Smithers

The Town will start collecting single stream, loose and clean residential recyclables April 12

Adam's Igloo sustained serious damage when the roof collapsed. (Facebook photo)
Roof collapses on Smithers landmark

Cleanup efforts underway at Adams Igloo and Wildlife Museum

Instructor and master artist Dempsey Bob (right) speaks to the crowd at the Terrace Art Gallery about the importance of cultural art on Feb. 7, 2020. Bob is a recipient of a 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts Artistic Achievement Award. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Northwest artist Dempsey Bob wins national art award

Renowned Tahltan-Tlingit master carver one of eight people to receive Governor General’s Arts Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read