Marine finfish aquaculture licence under the Fisheries Act - PART B. Licence conditions

This webpage is intended for informational purposes only.

Finfish condition of licence

1. Production

1.1 The combined peak biomass of cultivated fish within an authorized containment structure array must not exceed the amount set out on page 1 of this licence.

1.2 The licence holder must report peak biomass information as follows:

  1. for production sites, the licence holder must submit to the Department, starting July 1, 2016 notification of the actual date and tonnage of the peak biomass event for each production cycle, for the term of the licence within 30 days of its occurrence;
  2. for facilities with fish continuously on site, the licence holder must submit to the Department a notification of the actual date and tonnage of each peak biomass event for the term of this licence no later than January 15, 2017 and annually thereafter, and must include data from the previous calendar year.

1.3 The licence holder must submit to the Department starting July 15, 2016 and annually on the 15th of each month thereafter for the term of this licence:

  1. a seven month rolling inventory plan for all licensed species using the template set out in Appendix I-A(i), including biomass, number of fish, age class and harvest activities at this facility. One month of the plan must reflect the calculated inventory at this facility for the previous month and the remaining six months must be the projected inventory. This plan will include data when no production is occurring; and
  2. transfers to and from this facility for the previous month using the template set out in Appendix I-A(ii). This report is required only if transfers occurred.

1.4 The licence holder must complete the Population Harvest Declaration Form as set out in Appendix I-B which must accompany the harvested fish and be provided to the processor.

2. Transfer of fish

2.1 possessing a valid aquaculture licence issued pursuant to section 3 of the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. the fish are live Atlantic or Pacific salmonids;
  2. the species of live salmonid are the same as those listed on the face of this licence;
  3. transfers occur within the same Salmonid Transfer Zone as set out in Appendix II; and
  4. the licence holder has obtained written and signed confirmation, executed by the source facility’s veterinarian, fish health staff, or facility manager, that, in their professional judgement:
    1. mortalities, excluding eggs, in any stock reared at the source facility, have not exceeded 1% per day due to any infectious diseases, for any four consecutive day period during the rearing period;
    2. the stock to be moved from the source facility shows no signs of clinical disease; and
    3. no stock at the source facility is known to have had any diseases listed in Appendix III.

2.2 The original or a copy of the written and signed confirmation, described in section 2.1(d) must:

  1. be kept at this facility and available for inspection by the Department; and
  2. (b) accompany all shipments of fish to and from this facility, except for movement of harvested fish.

2.3 From July 1, 2016 until further notice, the licence holder may not carry out transfers pursuant to section 2.1 herein. During that period the licence holder must apply to the BC Introductions and Transfers Committee to obtain an authorization to transfer fish.

2.4 For transfers of fish to this facility that are not authorized pursuant to section 2.1 the licence holder must possess a valid licence, obtained by applying to the BC Introductions and Transfers Committee, which will liaise with the appropriate Department licensing officials.

3. Containment array requirements

3.1 The licence holder must comply with the Containment Array Plan(s) attached to this licence with respect to location and containment structures. The containment structures at the facility may be less than that in the Containment Array Plan(s), but must not exceed it.

3.2 If the containment structure array is anchored for the first time or re-anchored, the licence holder must submit to the Department, prior to transferring fish to this facility, or within 30 days if fish are already on site:

  1. an attestation completed by a qualified individual(s) confirming that the facility infrastructure is installed in such a way and using such equipment as to withstand the oceanographic and meteorological conditions of the licensed location; and
  2. an accurate Containment Array Plan including locational information (+/- 10 m) for each corner of the containment structure array at high slack tide, and cage number.

3.3 The licence holder must notify the Department when planning to change from one approved containment structure array to another 10 days prior to transferring fish to this facility.

3.4 Harvest/transfer pens may be used in the same location for up to 90 calendar days. The licence holder must ensure that:

  1. harvest/transfer pens remain empty or in an alternate location for the equivalent time that they are in operation; and
  2. facility records of harvest and transfer pen usage are maintained and available upon request of the Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian. These records must include location, start and end dates of harvest/transfer pen use.

4. Fish health

4.1 The licence holder culturing salmonids must comply with the Health Management Plan (HMP) as set out in Appendix IV. Any proposed amendments to the HMP will be considered a request for licence amendment by the licence holder to the Department.

4.2 Starting October 15, 2016 and annually on October 15th thereafter for the term of the licence, the licence holder culturing salmonids must submit to the Department, for its considered response:

  1. the complete facility-specific proprietary Health Management Standard Operating Procedures (HMSOPs), with modified sections identified; or
  2. inform the Department if no changes made to HMSOPs.

4.3 The licence holder must comply with carcass management, including mortality events as defined in Part A, as described in its salmonid HMP or, in the case of non-salmonid licence holders, as described in a separate Carcass Management Plan (CMP) attached as set out in Appendix IV-A.

4.4 The salmonid HMP or the non-salmonid CMP must include procedures for the following measures:

  1. collecting, categorizing, recording, storing and disposing of fish carcasses, including:
    1. the regular removal of carcasses to carcass storage containers;
    2. reporting to the Department as per sections 7.4 and 7.5;
    3. bio-security protocols;
    4. the secure location of stored carcasses while awaiting transfer to land-based facilities;
    5. the procedures to prevent contents from leaking into receiving waters;
    6. the secure transfer of stored carcasses to land-based facilities; and
    7. the methods used to sanitize carcass storage containers, equipment and other handling facilities or vessels;
  2. a mortality event procedure, which will include:
    1. notification to the Department of a mortality event defined in Part A “Mortality Event” not later than 24 hours after discovery, providing as much detail as outlined in Appendix V-A;
    2. not later than 10 calendar days after the mortality notification, submission to the Department a completed Appendix V-A, with subsequent update reports every 10 days thereafter if the specific mortality continues;
    3. actions to handle the additional biomass on site associated with the mortality event of the magnitude defined in Part A of the licence; and
    4. identification of vessels that will be used to collect and transport mortalities to on-land facilities in the case of elevated mortality events.

4.5 Should a Fish Health Event occur, the licence holder must:

  1. take immediate action to manage the event by implementing a response procedure to minimise the potential spread of pathogens if an infectious disease is diagnosed;
  2. undertake follow up measures to evaluate the Fish Health Event and the efficacy of the mitigation measures taken;
  3. submit a notification to the Department not later than seven calendar days after the event; and
  4. submit to the Department the therapeutic management measures as set out in Appendix V-B.

5. Fish health records

5.1 The licence holder must keep at this facility, unless otherwise indicated, complete, up-to-date and accurate written or electronic records of stocking and fish health activity for the facility. Records must include the following:

  1. stocking and fish health activity for the facility as set out in Appendix V-C; and
  2. the use of all therapeutants, pest control products and anaesthetics as set out in Appendix V-D.

5.2 The licence holder must ensure that Fish Health Event and carcass assessment records, in written or electronic form, are reviewed by the licence holder’s veterinarian and/or fish health staff to assess patterns in fish health and to facilitate reporting of “Fish Health Event” as per section 4.5(c) and "Mortality by Category" as per section 7.4.

6. Sea lice monitoring

6.1 The licence holder must follow a sea lice monitoring program in accordance with the monitoring protocols set out in Appendix VI.

6.2 Sampling of sea lice is not required when:

  1. a facility cultivating Atlantic salmon or trout is being harvested and there are fewer than four stocked containment structures with fish remaining; or
  2. fewer than 30 calendar days have passed since the completion of fish transfer to the third containment structure; or
  3. the anaesthetic withdrawal time would delay the current rate of harvest; or
  4. fish have been medicated for sea lice within the previous 21 days; or
  5. fish are being medicated or otherwise managed for a fish health event; or
  6. an ongoing environmental issue would lead to additional fish stress or harm if handled.

6.3 Sampling of sea lice is required in three containment structures when four or more containment structures are actively being used to cultivate Atlantic salmon or trout. If less than four containment structures are actively being used to cultivate Atlantic salmon or trout, sampling is required in at least one containment structure.

6.4 Starting March 1, 2017, the licence holder must conduct annual sampling between March 1 and June 30 for the term set out in this licence. The licence holder cultivating Atlantic salmon and trout must carry out a sea lice abundance assessment every two weeks, at minimum, for fish held in containment structures for more than 30 calendar days. Where data collected in Appendix VI-A indicates the sea lice abundance threshold of three motile Lepeophtheirus salmonis has been exceeded, the licence holder must:

  1. within 15 calendar days of the discovery, implement a plan which will reduce the absolute sea lice inventory within the containment structure array; and
  2. notify the Department as per section 7.1 and 7.3.

6.5 Starting July 1, 2016, the licence holder must conduct sampling annually between July 1 and February 28 for the term set out in this licence. The licence holder cultivating Atlantic salmon and trout must carry out a sea lice abundance assessment once every month for fish held in containment structures for more than 30 calendar days. Where data collected in Appendix VI-A indicates the sea lice abundance threshold of three motile Lepeophtheirus salmonis has been exceeded, the licence holder must:

  1. increase monitoring to at least once every two weeks;
  2. within 30 calendar days of the first discovery, provide a plan to address the exceedance to the Department, for its considered response; and
  3. notify the Department as per section 7.1.

6.6 Starting July 1, 2016 the licence holder must ensure that sea lice monitoring is conducted quarterly, for the term set out in this licence, on cultivated Pacific salmon at the containment structure array. Sea lice abundance must be documented and available for review by a Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian upon request. Should the average motile Lepeophtheirus salmonis exceed three lice per cultivated Pacific salmon, the licence holder must notify the Department as per section 7.3.

7. Sea lice, health and mortality reporting

7.1 The licence holder, cultivating Atlantic Salmon and trout, must submit to the Department starting July 15, 2016 monthly reports on the 15th of each month thereafter for the term of this licence as set out in section 6.4 and 6.5, using the template in Appendix VI-A.

7.2 Environmental data associated with the facility, as set out in Appendix VI-B, must be collected and maintained at this facility and made available to a Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian upon request.

7.3 Starting March 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017 and annually every March 1st to June 30th period for the term of this licence, should the sea lice abundance threshold exceed three motile Lepeophtheirus salmonis per cultivated salmonid, the licence holder must report to the Department for its considered response, not later than seven calendar days after the discovery:

  1. the abundance results of the sea lice monitoring; and
  2. the plan as outlined in section 6.4 including actions and management response to be initiated.

7.4 The licence holder must record “Mortality by Category” for fish within the containment array. The reports must be submitted to the Department, not later than July 15, 2016 and every three months thereafter for the term of this licence, as set out in Appendix V-B. A report is required for all facilities in operation.

7.5 July 1, 2016 and quarterly thereafter for the term of the licence, the licence holder must maintain and submit to the Department, records of all wild or enhanced fish mortalities collected during routine carcass recovery, following the template set out in Appendix VII.

8. Escape prevention, reporting and response

8.1 The licence holder must have in place and follow an Escape Prevention and Response Plan including all elements outlined in Appendix VIII to prevent the escape of cultivated fish.

8.2 If an escape or a suspected escape of cultivated fish from the containment structure array occurs, the licence holder must take immediate action to prevent further escapes.

8.3 The licence holder must notify the Department of any escape or evidence of escape of cultivated fish from this facility within 24 hours after discovery. The notification must include the date and time of escape and any therapeutants administered through feed as set out in Appendix IX.

8.4 The licence holder must submit to the Department a complete follow-up report, as set out in Appendix IX not later than seven calendar days after the escape or suspected escape.

9. Incidental catch

9.1 The licence holder must design and use nets and other gear or equipment in a way that reduces the risk of incidental catch, and causes the least amount of harm to incidental catch.

9.2 Unless otherwise directed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or the Department, the licence holder must ensure that any live incidental catch are immediately returned to waters outside the aquaculture facility in a manner that causes it the least harm.

9.3 The licence holder must retain all dead incidental catch and dispose of them in the same manner that cultivated stock carcasses are disposed of, as set out in section 4.4.

9.4 The licence holder must maintain incidental catch records as set out in Appendix VII and must submit to the Department in the following manner:

  1. for facilities that have fish continuously on site, a report must be submitted on January 15, 2017 and annually every January 15th thereafter for the duration of the licence. Records from the previous calendar year must be included; or
  2. for all other facilities, a report must be submitted within 15 calendar days of the final date of harvest that includes all records generated during the production cycle. The licence holder must submit a follow-up report if more incidental catch and/or herring spawn is discovered after all containment nets are removed.

10. Management of marine mammal interactions

10.1 The licence holder must have in place and follow a Marine Mammal Interaction Management Plan that includes all the elements of Appendix X.

10.2 Marine mammal acoustical deterrents must not be used.

10.3 Upon discovery of a live entangled marine mammal, the licence holder must make all reasonable attempts to free the marine mammal without harm.

10.4 The licence holder must notify the Department of any marine mammal drowning mortality or entanglement (live or dead) not later than 24 hours after discovery. The notification must include the date and time of discovery and as much of the detail set out in Appendix XI-A as possible.

10.5 Not later than seven calendar days after the initial notification pursuant to section 10.4 the licence holder must submit to the Department a complete follow-up report of any marine mammal drowning or entanglement (live or dead), using the template set out in Appendix XI-A.

10.6 In the event that deterrence efforts fail, the licence holder is authorized to dispatch harbour seals and California sea lions which are within 30 m from the edge of any net pen associated with the containment structure array, and:

  1. are within or attempting to enter the containment structure array; and
  2. that represent an imminent danger to aquaculture equipment and infrastructure, the safety of persons in the facility or the fish cultivated in the facility.

10.7 Only employees and/or agents of the licence holder who meet all of the following qualifications may dispatch harbour seals or California sea lions pursuant to section 10.6:

  1. possess a valid Federal Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) issued under the Firearms Act and are able to produce it upon demand by a Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian; and
  2. carry photo identification and current contact information, and additionally, in the case of an agent, the name of the business, business owner, business licence number, current contact information and produce it upon request by a Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian.

10.8 All firearms used to dispatch harbour seals or California sea lions must have a muzzle velocity of not less than 1,800 feet per second, and a muzzle energy of not less than 1,100 foot pounds. Ammunition must be factory produced and the box available for inspection. The use of hand loads is not permitted under the authority of this licence.

10.9 If a harbour seal or a California sea lion is shot under the authority of this licence, every reasonable attempt must be made to retrieve it and ensure that it is dead.

10.10 As soon as it is practical, the licence holder must make all reasonable efforts to recover every harbour seal or California sea lion killed under the authority of this licence and must, for every harbour seal or California sea lion that is retrieved, dispose of the carcass in accordance with applicable Federal, Provincial, and Municipal legislation.

10.11 The licence holder must:

  1. record and notify the Department of any shooting or retrieval efforts of a harbour seal or California sea lion not later than 24 hours after the event as set out in Appendix XI-B; and
  2. submit to the Department a complete report in accordance with Appendix XI-B, no later than seven calendar days after any shooting of a harbour seal or California sea lion of this licence.

11. Protection of fish habitat

11.1 The installation and removal of this operation is authorized under section 35(2)(a) of the Fisheries Act.

11.2 The licence holder must maintain records at this facility of in-water net cleaning for the purposes of biofouling removal, as set out in Appendix XII.

11.3 The licence holder must ensure that only anchoring equipment is in contact with the sea bed.

11.4 The licence holder must collect and retain, with minimal leakage, blood generated during harvest and dispose of it at a licensed processing facility.

11.5 The licence holder must ensure all debris generated or used at this facility is collected or treated and disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal, Provincial, and Municipal legislation.

12. Operation of vessels

12.1 The licence holder must post signage directing all vessels not involved in the cultivation of fish to dock at the designated docking station.

12.2 The licence holder must monitor and post restricted use signs in those areas where vessels not involved in the cultivation of fish are not permitted access.

13. Annual aquaculture statistical report

13.1 Starting January 25, 2017 and annually on January 25th thereafter for the term of this licence, the licence holder must complete and submit to the Department the Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report as set out in Appendix XIII for the previous calendar year.

14. Use of lights

14.1 The licence holder may use lights to promote fish growth and alter fish physiology and must record the following:

  1. type of lights used;
  2. the intensity of lights used;
  3. the number of lights used; and
  4. dates and times when the lights are used (period of day; season).

14.2 Starting February 15, 2017 and annually on February 15th thereafter for the term of this licence, the licence holder must submit to the Department annual light use reports summarizing results from section 14.1 for the previous calendar year.

15. Administrative matters

15.1 Unless otherwise noted under specific conditions of this licence, the licence holder must keep all records required by these conditions in the following manner:

  1. with respect to duration:
    1. at this facility for the duration of the production cycle; and
    2. in a suitable location, at this facility, in a corporate office, or other accessible storage off-site for a minimum of four additional years;
  2. accessible, legible and protected from damage; and
  3. in either electronic or paper versions.

15.2 Unless otherwise noted in specific licence conditions, all reports and submissions required by this licence must be submitted to the Department as follows:

  1. AQFF.General@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for reports required from sections 1, 3, 9, 11 and 14 of this licence;
    AQFF.FishHealth@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for all reports required from sections 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this licence;
    AQFF.FishEscapes@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for all reports required from section 8 of this licence;
    AQFF.MarineMammals@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for all reports required from section 10 of this licence;
    fishstats@dfo-mpo.gc.ca for all reports required from section 13 of this licence;
  2. when notified, please submit to the following updated email addresses:
    DFO.AQFFGeneral-AQFFGénéral.MPO@canada.ca for reports required from sections 1, 3, 9, 11 and 14 of this licence;
    DFO.AQFFHealth-AQFFSanté.MPO@canada.ca for all reports required from sections 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this licence;
    DFO.AQEscape-AQÉchapper.MPO@canada.ca for all reports required from section 8 of this licence;
    DFO.AQFFMammals-AQFFMammifères.MPO@canada.ca for all reports required from section 10 of this licence;
    DFO.AASR-RSSA.MPO@canada.ca for all reports required from section 13 of this licence; or
  3. to the Departmental aquaculture database.