Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Green Party leader Elizabeth May paid a visit to Vancouver Island on Thursday, to reaffirm her party’s dedication to ending fish farming in open ocean pens and expand on what that would look like for people living on the coast.

While standing by the Brant Viewing Area on the Old Island Highway in Qualicum Beach, May emphasized more funding for fish stock research to help protect endangered species; moving all open-net pen fish aquaculture facilities to closed land-based systems; financial support for fish pen workers during transition; and the idea of involving local First Nations in the process of phasing out fish farming in open ocean pens.

READ MORE: Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

In response to a question from The NEWS about concerns around job loss in the fish farming industry, May said jobs would be displaced to land based aquaculture operations and that the opportunities for work in the sector are plentiful.

“We’re very concerned to ensure that workers in any aspect of the economy that’s going to go through a major transition, particularly fossil fuel workers, but also fish farm workers, that they know they have jobs in the transition,” May said. “There are workers in aquaculture on land.”

She said that there are fish farm operations on land elsewhere in Canada and B.C., and it’s time to “stop the contamination of the wild salmon populations with the sea lice, with the diseases and with the very negative impacts of having salmon aquaculture taking over our coastal ecosystems.”

Hereditary Chief Gigame of the Laichkwiltach Nation, George Quocksister Jr., was present at the announcement, said he thinks fish farming is a significant issue for all people in B.C.

“They’re destroying the salmon, not only the salmon, the prawns, crabs, clams – everything is getting destroyed,” he said.

May continued on her Thursday tour of Vancouver Island after visiting Qualicum Beach, ahead of Monday’s federal election.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New grocery store coming to Oak Bay Junction

Urban Grocer set to bring up to 40 new jobs

One in custody after two men stabbed in Victoria

Police arrest suspect morning after stabbings on Pandora Avenue

Langford man arrested after fleeing a serious crash in Saanich

Other driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police say

Saanich rollover incident caused by driver swerving to avoid deer

Driver uninjured, police unable to locate the deer

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Grand Forks braces for river flooding amid warm weather and rain

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Most Read