Fish farms BC: Federal decision causes plant to close, company says

Surrey, BC –

One of the largest farmed salmon producers operating in British Columbia said it was permanently closing its processing plant in Surrey, British Columbia, due to a federal government decision to phase out some fish farms.

Mowi Canada West says in a press release that the plant closure is due to the government’s cancellation of salmon farming licenses on Discovery Island between northern Vancouver Island and the mainland.

The factory employed 80 people and operated for four years.

Mowi says it will continue primary processing of all BC-raised salmon at its Port Hardy plant, but will supply customer orders of value-added seafood through its facilities. Americans.

Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray could not immediately be reached for comment but said last month she planned to ensure the decision to phase out 19 open net pen farms of the Discovery Islands is completed.

In December 2020, then Minister Bernadette Jordan announced that the licenses would only be renewed until the summer of 2022.

“Sustainably and responsibly managing our ocean ecosystems is a priority for me as minister, and our government is committed to protecting and rebuilding wild salmon stocks,” Murray said in the statement.

Mowi says the decision to phase out farms off the Discovery Islands cuts 30% of the company’s production volume, creating significant business uncertainty.

“This is devastating news for the employees and families who have relied on this operation for their livelihoods,” said Dean Dobrinsky, spokesperson for Mowi Canada West, in a statement shared by the Surrey Chamber of Commerce.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 17, 2022.

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