Reprieve for Mowi over BC fish transfers

A Canadian federal judge has granted Mowi an injunction allowing it to restock two salmon farms in British Columbia with young fish.

The company has been at loggerheads with the Federal Fisheries Minister, Bernadette Jordan, since she ordered it to close 19 farms on the Discovery Islands, British Columbia by June next year. Her order had also prevented the restocking of farms in the Discovery Islands region.

The same federal court has also granted a similar injunction to Saltstream, a smaller business and which mainly breeds Chinook rather than Atlantic salmon.

The decision is likely to save Mowi around CAN$26m and, at least temporarily, the jobs of more than 70 employees.

In a written ruling Justice Peter George Pamel said: “The harm to Mowi and Saltstream, as well as their employees, their families and other businesses in the community, in particular First Nations businesses, will be real and substantial if the injunction is not granted, and if Mowi and Saltstream are not permitted to proceed with the transfer of fish they require to undertake as part of their operations.”

The injunction is expected to allow Mowi to transfer up to 1.2 million Atlantic salmon smolts to two sites near the Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

Dean Dobrinsky, human resources director for Mowi Canada West, said the company still needs to apply to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to carry out the transfer of the fish that would otherwise have been culled. Transfer requests will be subject to a decision based on veterinary health.

Mowi Canada West managing director Diane Morrison said the court decision would come as a great relief to the company’s employees and the communities where Mowi operated.




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