Mowi Canada West started to cull 920,000 juvenile salmon at its Big tree Creek Hatchery, according to local news, as a consequence of the decisions made by Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to end net-pen salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June 30, 2022.
Mowi said in a press release that approximately 13-15 farms are impacted by the decision but the exact number is not known as the Minister has not provided a precise listing of the affected farms, nor any details or plans beyond her initial announcement.
Mowi’s Discovery Islands farms are 30% of the company’s British Columbia operations, so if the decision stands the company will have to close almost a third of its business over the next 12 months, resulting in significant direct financial losses. One of the consequences is the culling of several million young fish currently in hatcheries, as it has no alternative locations to place those fish.
Cermaq Canada is also impacted by the decision that affects three farms that represent about 20% of the company's overall production. The company also stated that “this will have immediate implications for our hatcheries, our other farms, processing facilities, our customers, and - most importantly - for our employees and the communities in which we operate.”
Both companies applied to the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver for judicial review of the decisions.