MP Fin Donnelly, the Federal NDP fisheries critic who has agreed to meet with Morton and the migrators on Saturday, tabled a bill yesterday in the House of Commons which would require fish farm operators to move to a closed containment system. This is exactly what Morton and others, such as the David Suzuki Foundation and Living Oceans Society, are campaigning for.
According to an article in The Tyee, Donnelly initiated the bill because the
federal Fisheries and Oceans Standing Committee has heard conflicting evidence from government and independent biologists on whether fish farms are responsible for increasing sea lice infection rates in wild stocks.
The government position is that fish farms have not contributed to the decline of wild salmon, but environmental groups like the David Suzuki Foundation and Living Oceans Society have endorsed a transition to closed containment farms as a precautionary measure.
Despite the official position, and the fact that the committee was told in March that the closed containment system is not currently viable, there is at least one Washington-based company which uses – and is profiting from – the system. Donnelly disagrees with the government, stating that not only is it viable now, it is important to make the move to protect wild salmon.