Mainstream Plans New Farm Amidst Tanking Clayoquot Wild Salmon


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.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

4 thoughts on “Mainstream Plans New Farm Amidst Tanking Clayoquot Wild Salmon

  1. Atlantic Salmon do not belong in the Pacific. That is clear.
    The farmed salmon industry is both unnatural and unhealthy. It is also toxic, a threat to wild salmon and the environment. Let’s work with nature, not against it. The Pacific if for Pacific wild salmon. Keep Atlantic salmon where they belong, in the Atlantic.

  2. I know Harper will not allow scientists to publish their results, because he supports the Alberta dirty tar sands.

    There must have been a big payoff to Campbell, for him to allow our wild salmon to be killed off by disease. Perhaps Wikileaks could expose this dirty shame and name names. Christy Clark is useless, she will have been warned off.

    I’m thinking, the First Nations people could be approached. They rely on wild salmon to help feed their people. We should put out a boycott, on anyone buying farmed salmon. I refuse to buy diseased farmed salmon, anyway.

    I am going to do some research, with the F.N. people. And, see about some boycott’s, among the citizens.

  3. Up until now, there has been only passive demonstrations. Maybe now would be the time to show the fish farmers and the government, that British Columbians care about what is happening in the BC coastal waters.

    Maybe some serious demonstrations to get the message across as the fish farm owners and the DFO and BC Liberal government, seem to think that the public will remain passive and obliging . A few hand grenades or explosives thrown into fish farm pens should get their attention pretty quick and kill a lot of “their diseased salmon” to boot..

    There really is no other way that I can see. The government is forcing a blackout on the enquiry evidence and signing scientists to secrecy ! So much for democracy and democratic priciples.

    Thank you

    One very angry and disgusted pensioner.

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