Regulating and monitoring British Columbia’s marine finfish aquaculture facilities 2017

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Published: 2017



ISBN: 2561-6625


This report, Regulating and Monitoring British Columbia’s Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities 2017, provides an overview of the marine finfish aquaculture industry’s performance in meeting the regulatory requirements under the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations and the Aquaculture Activities Regulations. DFO produces this publication on an annual basis to increase information available on industry’s performance in meeting conditions of licence and on DFO’s monitoring activities, as part of the Department’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable, world-class aquaculture industry in Canada. Information presented on the Department’s public reporting web pages are updated as new information is received and may differ from this report.

Summary of marine finfish aquaculture in British Columbia

In British Columbia, the aquaculture industry is primarily regulated and managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). DFO began licensing aquaculture facilities in BC in December 2010. In 2017, there were 116 licensed marine finfish aquaculture facilities (“fish farms”). On average, 61 of these facilities have fish on site at any given time. At the end of 2017, the approved total combined peak production of all marine finfish facilities was 306,223 metric tonnes (MT). A list of all current licence holders for marine finfish aquaculture is available on the DFO website.

Marine finfish species cultivated in British Columbia

Most 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 BC. Some other species, such as Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), are also cultivated on a smaller scale.

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

Marine finfish aquaculture facilities are mainly 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. All marine finfish aquaculture facilities with a valid licence as of December 31, 2017 are shown in Figure 1.

Map of 2017 Marine Finfish Aquaculture in British Columbia, showing Licensed Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities
Figure 1. Map of Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities in BC, 2017