Pacific salmon have significant cultural, social, and ecological importance to First Nations and British Columbians, however, they are in serious, long-term decline, with many runs on the verge of collapse. The Government of Canada is taking action to protect these species. As noted by the Cohen Commission, the Discovery Islands area is a key migratory route for wild Pacific Salmon, where narrow passages bring migrating juvenile salmon into close contact with salmon farms.
Recent science indicates that there is uncertainty with respect to the risks posed by Atlantic salmon aquaculture farms to wild Pacific salmon in the Discovery Islands area, as well as to the cumulative effect of any farm-related impacts on this iconic species.
There are multiple stressors on wild salmon, including: climate change; habitat degradation and destruction; regulated fishing as well as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Given the state of wild Pacific salmon, the Government of Canada is taking a highly precautionary approach to manage Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the Discovery Islands area.
Source: Water Canada