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 City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City of Williams Lake seeks feedback on hosting junior hockey league team

A league expansion application in Quesnel is also pending

The campground will be inside Quesnel, where the public works building used to be. (City of Quesnel Riverfront Plan)
Quesnel municipal campground project receives $500K in provincial funding

$20 million in funding was given to shovel-ready tourism projects across the province

A timing board was set up so skiers could record their own times. Savannah Robinson, who competes in biathlon as well, got a chance to test her skiing power. She came in second in the 20km classic race. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Cariboo Ski Touring Club ‘So-Lo-Ppet’ results

The Quesnel cross-country skiing group was forced to change because of COVID

Members of the Quesnel RCMP Detachment wore their best pink shirts to support anti-bullying efforts. (Back row – Constable Sean Terry, Sergeant Rirchard Weseen, Constable Bob Kalman, Constable Alyssa MacNeil Middle – Constable Doug Erickson, Patti Thompson, Cindy Osip, Constable Cody Brown Front – Dana Bouchard, Staff Sergeant Darren Dodge, Kellie Hipkin) (Karen Powell Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel RCMP goes pink in effort to stop bullying

Officers and staff from the detatchment participated in Pink Shirt Day

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read