The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) are not in favor of the Canadian Liberal Party and Green Party election promises to transition from open netpen salmon farms in British Columbia to closed-containment systems, dubbing the idea "nonsense."
"The lack of knowledge behind these election promises is quite astonishing, especially from two parties that claim to be serious about taking action on climate change," ACFFA Executive Director Susan Farquharson said in a statement.
The move would negatively impact the environment, fish health welfare and socio-economics in the rural coastal communities even if the change were to happen, the executive said.
The industry already grow their smolt in land-based hatcheries and land-based technologies continue to evolve as salmon farmers drive the innovation, Farquharson added.
"But at this point, the evidence is clear, the ocean is the best place for that final stage for salmon to grow from smolts to market size – just as they do in nature," she said.
"Those who advocate moving all salmon farms from the ocean onto land need to realize that the practice of growing salmon to full maturity in tanks poses very real challenges."
The ACFFA highlights several statistics regarding the amounts of land, water and energy needed to grow salmon to market size.
"These election promises amount to nothing more than an attempt to pander for votes to a vocal minority who oppose salmon farming in British Columbia," Farquharson said. "Here on the east coast, the majority of Atlantic Canadians support salmon farming."
The association calls on all federal election candidates to stand for Canada's salmon farming industry and rejecting the campaign promises due to the importance seen in salmon farming.