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

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read