Regulating and monitoring British Columbia’s marine finfish aquaculture facilities 2011–2014

Table of Contents

  1. Summary of marine finfish aquaculture in British Columbia
  2. How aquaculture facilities are regulated
  3. Assessing compliance
    1. How DFO assesses the performance of aquaculture facilities
    2. Enforcement options
    3. Summary of charges and convictions, 2011-2014
    4. Details of Fishery Officer activities
    5. Deficiencies in 2011
    6. Deficiencies in 2012
    7. Deficiencies in 2013
    8. Deficiencies in 2014
  4. Reporting requirements and reports submitted
    1. Overall reporting requirements
    2. Scheduled reports
    3. Incident reports
  5. Monitoring and audits: Fish health
    1. Fish health management plans
    2. Fish health in 2011
    3. Fish health in 2012
    4. Fish health in 2013
    5. Fish health in 2014
    6. Sea Lice
    7. Fish Mortality
  6. Monitoring and audits: Environmental
    1. Benthic (seabed) monitoring
    2. DFO’s Benthic Audit Program
    3. Escapes
    4. Incidental catch
    5. Interactions with marine mammals
    6. Use of lights
    7. Use of chemicals, and feed and other substances
  7. Monitoring and audits: Inventory and aquaculture statistics
    1. Inventory plans and stock transfers
    2. Annual aquaculture statistical report
  8. Summary

In British Columbia, the aquaculture industry is primarily regulated and managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). DFO began licensing aquaculture facilities in B.C. in December 2010. Between 2010 and 2014, DFO licensed up to 123 marine finfish aquaculture facilities (“fish farms”) with a total combined peak production of over 280,000 metric tonnes of fish. Generally, about half of these facilities have fish on site at any given time. A list of all current licence holders for marine finfish aquaculture is available on the DFO website.

Marine Finfish Species Cultivated in British Columbia

The majority of marine finfish aquaculture licences are issued for salmon, with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) being the most commonly farmed fish in B.C. Some other species are also cultivated on a smaller scale, including sablefish/black cod (Anoplopoma fimbria) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

Atlantic salmon is the preferred species for marine finfish cultivation around the world because these fish feed well on pellets, are efficient at converting food to body mass, grow quickly, and are well adapted to the confines of a net pen.

Locations of Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities

The majority of the marine finfish aquaculture facilities are located around northern and western Vancouver Island. There are clusters of sites in several areas, such as Clayoquot Sound, the Port Hardy area, the Broughton Archipelago, and the Discovery Islands (Figure 1).

Map of 2014 Marine Finfish Aquaculture in British Columbia, showing Licensed Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities