Public Reporting on Aquaculture - Use of lights

As part of their Conditions of Licence, farm operators in B.C. must record the type, intensity and number of lights used at their facilities, as well as the period of day and season they are used. This information is submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada annually and allows aquaculture management staff to further assess the potential impacts of light use and to develop appropriate management measures, if required.

Annual Reports on the Use of Lights, 2011-2015

Potential impacts of light use

Underwater lighting at marine finfish aquaculture sites is used to delay the onset of spawning maturity. This improves feeding behaviour, growth rates and the quality of fish flesh. Lights are used at night within net cages from autumn to spring, when there are fewer hours of daylight.

Research indicates that lights do not penetrate more than a few metres beyond marine nets, suggesting that their use has minimal effect on the surrounding environment. However, it is possible that lights may influence the behaviour of wild fish by attracting them to—or causing them to avoid—farm sites.