A proposal from Mainstream Canada – the local subsidiary of Norwegian aquaculture giant Cermaq – for a new 56-hectare open net pen salmon farm in Clayoquot Sound threatens the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve’s already hard-hit wild salmon stocks. The Common Sense Canadian posted a short film last year (scroll down to watch) on the research being conducted in Clayoquot and the compelling links it is drawing between sea lice from the 20 or so farms in the region and dwindling wild Chinook and chum stocks.
The proposal from Mainstream – which already operates 14 farms in Clayoquot – is prompting calls for a salmon farm moratorium in BC. The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CARR) – a coalition of provincial conservation groups – has joined the Friends of Clayoquot Sound in opposing the new farm, the first proposal of its kind since the federal government reclaimed jurisdiction over aquaculture last year.
Mainstream needs to obtain a tenure from the Province to operate on crown land and subsequent approval from DFO to build the farm. The company hopes to start stocking its new farm in 2012 – but will likely face intense opposition from the public and local and provincial environmental groups.