Friday, 14 April 2017

The Strictest Laws in the World? WRONG - Updated Mar, 23, 2018

Weak Laws for Fish Farms, Not Strong for Salmonids.

This post brings together the posts I have written on weakening laws for fish farms and business in the past five years. Don't let them tell you they operate under 'the strictest laws' in the world. That's simply spin.

Below is a long list. Read it and take the link for your own reference. And say: 'not so fast, Slim' when fish farms claim strictness, then hurl this long list at them. I think it will stick.

But first, here is a Hakai Magazine article, written by Erica Gies, from April 5, 2017 on legal weakening and failure to enforce the laws by DFO:

The HADD provision has been central to protecting habitat:

"In 2012, Canada’s governing Conservative Party made a number of controversial changes to the federal Fisheries Act, including weakening protections for fish habitat. One focus of the party’s ire was a principle dating to the 1980s: a prohibition against “the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat,” known as the HADD provision. Its policy objective was to ensure that, with any development proposal, there is a “net gain of habitat for Canada’s fisheries resources.”"

And Harper weakened it even though DFO had seldom enforced the provision.

"But was the original law actually a burden to industry? According to new research by Favaro and Olszynski, the answer seems to be no: even with the principle for net gain spelled out, Fisheries and Oceans Canada was scarcely enforcing the rule."

So strict laws mean nothing, if they are not enforced.

"Combined, the 78 projects Olszynski and Favaro reviewed from just that six-month period resulted in a net loss of almost three million square meters of fish habitat."

"the federal Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is currently reviewing the changes made to the Fisheries Act in 2012...

In its initial report published in February 2017, the committee recommended that DFO “renew its commitment to the ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ policies.”

Note that DFO doesn't enforce Canada's weak legislation because the Conservation and Protection budget is so low there aren't enough officers to go around, not to mention that recently, the very few charges brought resulted in Department of Justice not going forward because they thought they would lose the case because of how poorly DFO did.


And now, an update to November 9 2017. DFO is not only not doing everything above and below, they are failing to enforce Regulation 56, among other things, and trying to allow fish farms to put PRV infected fish in BC's ocean, by farming out the responsibility to the CFIA. Hard to believe, but true. Here is ecojustice's take on the court case they are prosecuting. There is a good list of reading material in this meaty post:

In addition, ecojustice has put together a compelling list of weakening of laws regarding fish, DFO weakening the law:

Please donate to ecojustice for taking the Alex Morton case forward.


Now, here is the longgggg list of posts:

1. Key Document: Royal Society of Canada - DFO Failing Canada's Oceans - a stinging indictment (February 2012):

2. Most Stringent Fish Farm Laws In the World (December 2013):

3. Weakening the Strictest Fish Farm Laws In the World (May 2014): Note that it mentions the Nancy Greene posts as well, just a week before.

4. New Aquaculture Regulations in Canada - Very Sad for Wild Pacific Salmon (July 2014):

5. Aquaculture Activities Regulations - Canada (October 2014):

6. Key Document: The Strictest Laws in the World? Not in Canada (November 2014):

7. Canada: Strictest Laws in the World? No. Best Science? No. Weakest Laws in the World? Probably (December 2014):

8. Summary: Fish Farm Environmental Laws Weakened by DFO and Harper Government (December 2014) You will want the good links in this one:

9. Norway to Make Laws Stricter, Not Looser Like in Canada - Shame on Shea (February 2015):

10. Seventeen Ways the Government Is Helping Kill Wild Salmon (May 2015):

11. Stephen Harper Government Eliminates Environmental Laws for Fish Farms (July 2015): There are some good links in this one that you will want.

12. Fixing The Fisheries Act - West Coast Environmental Law (April 2016):

13. Bill C-228 - Liberal Government Stands Against Pacific Salmon. This is Fin Donnelly's bill to get fish farms out of the water. (December 2016):

14. Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws - Righting the Wrongs of the Harper Era (March 2017): This one has the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report. It made 32 recommendations, and they are in the post.

15. Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean Rivers (March 2017). This one has the Atlantic Salmon Federation study on the laws in individual Canadian provinces, the USA and Norway, finding, for example, that in NB, the laws reach only 45% of the ASC requirements (And the ASC's are weak themselves): In this one, go look at the ASF graphic of how poorly the various provinces, USA and even Norway does in meeting the weak ASC standard. The link is:

16. Ecojustice iTunes Podcast on needed changes to Canada's environmental laws:

17. Westcoast Environmental Law assessment of needed changes to Canada's environmental laws:

18. Westcoast Envrionmental Law, from 2018, salmon are our buffalo:


Here is another article on the subject:

Here is a Dalhousie University study from 2017:

Here is some typical fish farm spin, 2016:  "Partner, Kjell Aasen in Nekst says: “A key success factor for the Norwegian aquaculture industry is the know-how, skills and professionalism of Norwegian authorities in charge of the industry.  It is a matter of looking around the world, to understand that we could not have built the best aquaculture industry in the world without a good set of regulations and a qualified bureaucracy.” See:

Now, go to the washroom and direct what is coming up your neck from your stomach into the toilet bowl.


Update Feb 28, 2018, Ecojustice's comments on the fisheries act et al:

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