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BC Aquaculture Regulatory Program and Pacific salmon

Maintaining a healthy and sustainable aquatic ecosystem is central to our role in supporting environmentally, economically and socially strong fisheries and aquaculture sectors

As the primary regulator of aquaculture activities in BC, we work with the Province of BC, Indigenous communities, industry and other partners to ensure that aquaculture is sustainable and that potential risks to wild fish stocks and ecosystems are identified and appropriately managed. Our strict regulatory regime seeks to ensure that the aquaculture industry minimizes risk to wild fish stocks and aquatic ecosystems. This is done through comprehensive regulations, environmental management requirements and compliance and monitoring activities.

Ensuring the health of farmed fish helps protect wild fish. This is just one reason why we require aquaculture operators to follow Fisheries and Oceans-approved health management plan (HMP). These plans outline how farms will manage biosecurity, water quality, medication treatment and other measures.

We also promote healthy fish populations through our Fish Health Audit and Surveillance Program. Our veterinarians, biologists, fish health technicians and resource managers conduct approximately 400 site visits each year, including an average of 120 fish health and 30 sea lice audits. On average, industry compliance with fish health requirements is 98%. In addition, our Conservation and Protection fishery officers dedicate thousands of hours each year to aquaculture monitoring, enforcement and investigation activities, including land, sea and air patrols.

Transparency is a key part of our regulatory program and results of fish health, sea lice, and other environmental and performance measures are published online.

We are committed to regulating the aquaculture industry to the world’s best standard and continually improves its oversight programs through investing in new technologies, supporting science on sustainable aquaculture and incorporating recommendations from external reviews and audits.

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