Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table e-petition 2367 on behalf of constituents from my riding of Courtenay—Alberni.
The petitioners cite that Pacific salmon are under serious threat from pathogens, pollutants, and sea lice originating from open-net fish farms; that wild salmon support first nations and indigenous cultural traditions and complex ecosystems, contributing to coastal forests, which produce the oxygen we breathe; that in spite of three legal decisions against it, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans refuses to screen for PRV and to agree to transfer farm fish known to be infected with PRV; and that Pacific salmon runs on the coast of B.C. are in a state of emergency.
The petitioners call upon the government to legislate the removal of open-net fish farms from B.C. waters by 2025; to immediately stop the transfer of PRV-infected smolts into open-net fish farms; to complete the transitioning of open-net fish farms to land-based closed containment by 2025; to dedicate funding and financing for training for fish farm workers to move to employment in land-based closed containment facilities, transitioning workers out of the aquaculture industry in regions that will not have land-based closed containment and for remote first nations communities currently dependent on revenues from the fish farm industry.