Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Discovery Islands Salmon Farms Must Go

August 6, 2020
Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Premier Horgan draws multi-sectoral support for First Nations

The effort to rid this coast of salmon farms is mounting as wild salmon runs collapse. An open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan, released today, is signed by 37 commercial and sport fishing organizations, religious and environmental organizations, marine tourism operators and unions. They demand that both leaders deliver their on promises to remove salmon farms from B.C. waters, starting with farms in the Discovery Islands area near Campbell River.

Salmon farms in BC are losing their battle against sea lice and this means more and more young wild salmon are dying as they try to get to sea. In 2019, the Fraser River sockeye declined to the lowest point in the history of Canada—they must swim through the gauntlet of Discovery Islands farms en route to the ocean. This year, a scientific team monitoring the progress of smolts going to sea found a serious lice outbreak on 94% of the sockeye, pink and chum in the area. The First Nations Leadership Council responded to this with a call to remove all salmon farms from B.C. waters immediately and their call has drawn unprecedented support.


Mike Griswold, Vice President, Gulf Trollers Association 250 830 7205:

“The salmon smolts going to sea this year include the dominant Adams River run—the one that is historically the largest and most commercially important. It is sheer madness to allow salmon farms to destroy 94% of that wealth, while the Nations, the sport and commercial fishermen are denied fish for conservation reasons. Commercial fishermen stated their support for the FNLC immediately following their press conference.”

Karen Wristen, Living Ocean Society  604-788-5634:

“The federal government promised two things,” said. “First, it would implement the Cohen Commission recommendations, one of which is that the farms in the Discovery Islands should be removed by this September unless it could be proven that they do no more than minimal harm to wild salmon.  Clearly, that is not the case and those farms need to come out of the water now.  Second, they promised a plan to transition all farms to closed containment by 2025, but the Fisheries Minister has not yet even gotten started on the plan.”


Contact Information

Mike Griswold, Vice President, Gulf Trollers Association 250 830 7205

Karen Wristen, Living Ocean Society  604-788-5634: