November 30, 2020
The Honorable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
House of Commons
Canada, K1A 0A6
Re: Open-net pen aquaculture and their impact on Salmon in New Brunswick
Dear Minister Jordan,
It is with great concern that I’m writing to you today regarding the state of the open pen aquaculture in the Atlantic and its impact on the wild salmon population. As you may know, the province of New Brunswick recently passed a new Aquaculture act. I have met with organizations looking at this issue for decades and their observations are worrisome. From captive salmon escapes to the increase in sea lice, there are a number of factors that are threatening the survival of the wild salmon population. This legislation does not ensure to take the necessary precautions to protect wild salmon populations. The environmental impact assessment process for example, is far from transparent.
In the context of the Atlantic Salmon, the fact that more than one province should be involved in the implementation requires coordination from the federal government and DFO. Furthermore, Under the Species at Risk Act, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the competent Minister with respect to aquatic species, other than individuals occurring in or on lands under the administration of Parks Canada Agency.
As DFO is currently holding public consultations on the matter, I want to make sure the recommendations coming from local organizations and communities do not go unheard. Can you ensure that the mechanism in place will allow them to be heard fairly?
Studies have shown that if a recovery strategy is implemented as advised by specialists, the Atlantic salmon population has the potential to recover. This recovery opens the door to ecotourism and local activities to ensure a sustainable economic model for years to come. Your government promised to transition from open-pen aquaculture to closed-containment by 2025, this legislation is an opportunity to act on your promises.
Thank you for your time.