The old myth that hundreds of salmon farms create a gauntlet for wild migrating fish has been busted again with a new map showing active farms during 2012’s outmigration season, and their small footprint.
“Salmon farms are very well sited and chosen based on the conditions of the area and what’s best for all fish – wild and farmed,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director, BCSFA. “These maps put into perspective what little space our farms actually take up while contributing to BC as an important farming sector in the province, particularly in our coastal communities.”
This is the third year that the BCSFA has proactively produced this reference for the public, with the maps now complete back to 2007. Farmers have supported continuing this information release as part of their commitment to sharing news and facts about their farms with the public.
“Our farmers work hard each day to grow healthy food, so educating the public about that commitment is a key responsibility for us,” said Walling.
The spring is a particularly important time for salmon farmers, who employ numerous management practices to protect the health of both farmed and wild fish year round. From March to July, the frequency of counts for naturally-occurring sea lice and fish health monitoring on farms increases to give special consideration to wild fish species migrating from freshwater out to their feeding grounds in the North Pacific.
These maps are particularly helpful following the release of the final report of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Fraser River Sockeye, where Justice Bruce Cohen recommended further research in the Discovery Islands area.
“We’ve seen lots of estimates about how many farms are in that area, but this is a solid record for the public that they can use to inform themselves directly,” said Walling.
The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry. Salmon farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.
For more information:
(250) 286-1636 x225