Concerns about fish farming practices in British Columbia and their effect on the health of farmed fish and wild fish

Petition: 396

Issue(s): Biological diversity, compliance and enforcement, fisheries, human/environmental health

Petitioner(s): Canadian organization

Petitioner Location(s): Vancouver, British Columbia

Date Received: 28 October 2016

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition raises concerns about how the health of fish is being affected by fish farming practices used on the west coast of British Columbia. The petition suggests that fish farming practices are having an adverse impact on both farmed fish and wild fish stocks in the area.

The petition flags potential health issues for farmed Atlantic salmon such as tumour growths, the piscine reovirus, and heart and skeletal muscle inflammation. In May 2016, the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative reported potential heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia. The petition notes that wild fish can get access to farm food containing chemicals and be exposed to farmed fish diseases.

The petition asks Fisheries and Oceans Canada specific questions about the monitoring of fish farms, their compliance with the Fisheries Act and its regulations, and the Department’s enforcement activities. The petition requests information on the procedures used by the Department to ensure the protection and health of farmed Atlantic salmon and wild herring stock.

Federal departments responsible for reply: Fisheries and Oceans Canada