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

Labour Minister Harry Bains addressing Surrey Board of Trade digital meeting Friday. (Screen shot)
Labour Minister says Surrey businesses’ resilience through pandemic ‘impressive’

‘Surrey’s effort in bending the curve has been among the best,’ Harry Bains says

Volunteers from Semiahmoo Secondary joined with members of the Lower Mainland Green Team and the White Rock and South Surrey Naturalists Wednesday to remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Students, volunteers remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park

Day-long project a collaboration between city, Lower Mainland Green Team

Raj Singh Toor (left) with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea after an official apology for the treatment of Komagata Maru passengers in 1914. (Contributed photo)
Request made for City of White Rock to honour Komagata Maru passengers

Raj Singh Toor confident city will rename ‘street, park or city asset’ in honour of 1914 tragedy

Saulteaux Cree – Saskatchewan hide and rabbit moccasins by Edith Cyr (1914-2000). (Shared with permission by Diane Jubinville)
Delta students to ‘Roc their Mocs’ March 11

Event to “teach about diversity, identity of different cultures around the world”

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

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read