Cullen Welcomes Federal Court Ruling On Farmed Salmon

OTTAWA – Nathan Cullen, MP (Skeena–Bulkley Valley) has welcomed a significant Federal Court ruling requiring the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to test for the PRV virus in farmed salmon before approving a transfer or release.

The court struck down the existing DFO policy that had allowed fish farms to transfer young salmon into open-net pens without testing for the deadly virus. Scientists and conservationists had expressed concern about the impact on wild chinook salmon in BC, which are already under severe strain.

Speaking after the ruling, Cullen hailed the decision as an important step forward for the survival of wild salmon along the BC coast: “Today’s ruling is a huge win for wild salmon and for everybody who cares about seeing healthy salmon return to our rivers every summer” stated Cullen.

However, Cullen expressed frustration that it took a Federal Court ruling before DFO changed its policy. “The fact that Canadians had to go to court to force this Liberal government to actually protect our salmon from disease is stunning. This is a government that claims to respect science, but decisions like this from the DFO seriously undermine the trust of Canadians in their ability to do their job and support fisheries” added Cullen.

“With the devastating fishing seasons we have been experiencing across the coast, the protection of wild salmon and not fish farming has to be the focus going forward” said Cullen.