Farmed B.C. Salmon Could Soon be Organic


OTTAWA — The tide could be turning in Ottawa where farmed B.C. salmon may soon be given the organic seal of approval, despite outcry from environmentalists.

The draft proposal, presented by the Canadian General Standards Board and organic aquaculture working group at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, would create new organic aquaculture standards that would apply to fish raised in open-net pens in the ocean.

It’s a move that has raised the ire of many, including Shauna MacKinnon, seafood sustainability specialist at the Vancouver-based Living Oceans Society. “The problems with the pens being directly in the ocean is that waste from the farm — the fish feces and waste feed — goes directly into the ocean, so there’s no treatment or recapture of that waste, so you have impacts on the biodiversity around those farms,” MacKinnon told Sarah Schmidt of Postmedia News, adding that chemicals used to counteract the spread of parasites also contradicts organic principles.

On the other hand, advocates for the plan tell Schmidt that the change would not be made unless the industry followed strict standards.

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