The British Columbia Provincial government on Wednesday awarded salmon farming companies, First Nations groups and public service agencies in the province for a partnership aimed at balancing aquaculture development, wild salmon health and indigenous rights.

The partners were given the Premier's Innovation and Excellence Award under the government-to-government category for the establishment of an aquaculture framework in the Broughton Archipelago, and effort that included a range of participants including:

  • ‘Namgis First Nation
  • Cermaq Canada Ltd.
  • Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation
  • Ministry of Attorney General
  • Mowi Canada West
  • Mamalilikulla First Nation
  • Mandell Pinder
  • MLT Aikins

In September, Cermaq Canada and Mowi Canada West reached agreements with the Broughton, British Columbia, First Nations to establish First Nations oversight of fish farms in their territories.

The Indigenous Monitoring Inspection Plan (IMIP) will allow First Nations to monitor and inspect the 17 salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago during an orderly transition of 17 farm sites between 2019 and 2023.

Five farms have already been decommissioned, as agreed in December last year, while others will remain in operation for various terms of two to four years. By the end of 2022, 10 farms will have ceased operations.

The remaining seven farms will cease operations, unless agreements between First Nations and farm operators, and valid Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) licences are in place by 2023.