Smolts from three hatcheries on North Vancouver Island which were scheduled for fish farms in Discovery Islands will be culled as there are no other production sites to move them to, said Mowi Canada West. (Photo courtesy, Mowi)

Smolts from three hatcheries on North Vancouver Island which were scheduled for fish farms in Discovery Islands will be culled as there are no other production sites to move them to, said Mowi Canada West. (Photo courtesy, Mowi)

UPDATE: Vancouver Island hatcheries cull 2.6M fish due to federal farm decision

Mowi Canada West estimates huge revenue loss from the culling

Three hatcheries north of Campbell River are set to cull 2.6 million fish estimating a huge revenue loss for aquaculture company Mowi Canada West.

[The article has been updated: The earlier estimates reported by Mowi were 8.3 million smolts]

Fry and smolts that were being raised at Big Tree Creek, Dalrymple and Ocean Falls hatcheries were to supply Mowi’s Discovery Island fish farms. But now these fish will have to be culled as there are no other production sites to move them to, said Dean Dobrinksky, Mowi human resources, safety and communications manager.

“Aquaculture industry works on a five year cycle and fish are at different stages in the cycle. We had salmon that was slated to go to the Discovery Island farms this spring, but as per the Dec. 17 federal decision operators are not allowed to add any new stocks in these sites,” Dobrinsky said.

In December, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 Discovery Islands fish farms by 2022 after consultation with seven First Nations that hold title in the area. For years, several Indigenous groups and wild salmon advocates had been calling for the removal of fish farms from B.C.’s waters, arguing that they threaten the health of wild salmon.

Operators have been given an 18-month grace period to harvest close to three million salmon that are already in these pens.

READ MORE: Canada ‘stole Christmas’ says Vancouver Island’s aquaculture industry While the decision impacted three major aquaculture companies based out of Campbell River – Mowi Canada West, Grieg Seafood BC, and Cermaq – Mowi took the biggest hit with 30 per cent of their overall production in B.C. concentrated in the Discovery Islands farms. A day before the minister’s announcement, fish from the hatcheries were scheduled to be transferred to the farms in Discovery Islands, said Dobrinksky.

The 18-month period is too short a notice to sort out operational logistics, according to Dobrinksy, who said that it disrupted the five year cycle under which the company operates.

“It’s going to be an awful experience for the farmers at the hatcheries who were taking care of the fish, feeding them and making sure that they are healthy,” said Dobrinsky, and added, “and now we’re going to be asking those same employees to kill them.”

Editor’s note: The article has been updated. The earlier estimates reported by Mowi were 8.3 million smolts.

SEE: Mowi backtracks on fish cull losses – 8.3 million to 2.6 million

Campbell RiverFish Farms

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawn Low first moved “upstairs” to the administrative department of the City of Revelstoke in 2009. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: 120 years later, first female CAO appointed in Revelstoke

International Women’s Day was first celebrated on March 19, 1911, in Austria,… Continue reading

Glenalee Berarducci Zooms with her daughter Deanne in Kenya. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: one Revelstoke woman shows the power of parental support

Glenalee Berarducci is a pillar of help for her children

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project would twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden. ~ Photo by B.C. Ministry of Transportation
Additional closures announced to Trans-Canada east of Golden

Additional closures will be needed in May as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Black Press Media file photo)
COSAR called to rescue missing skier near Big White

Fortunately, the skier found his way out of the area

Granfondo is going ahead in Penticton this September. (Western file photo)
Granfondo is a go in Penticton

Axel Merckx pushed the event to September in hopes of a ‘full Fondo experience’

Most Read