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

Explore Vancouver Island with George Vancouver through presentation in Cowichan

Historian Eric Marshall will relate this history at the 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27

UPDATED with VIDEO and PHOTOS: One person treated for minor burns in Crofton fire Monday morning

Firefighters were called out at 7 a.m. to a blaze at the Twin Gables Motel

Penelakut Tribe assumes ownership of iconic 49th Parallel General Store in Chemainus

Operating what’s now known as the Salish Sea Market provides economic opportunities

CVRD requests rainstorm, flood photos via online tool

Officials want to know more about how that type of event impacted the region as a whole.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Most Read