Mowi seeks judicial review of fisheries minister's order shutting down fish farms

VANCOUVER — The largest salmon farm operator in the Discovery Islands is going to court in an effort to overturn a fiat issued by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan that ordered all open-net salmon farms shut down in the region by June 2022.

Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) is seeking a judicial review through the Federal Court of Canada of Jordan’s order that all open-net salmon farms be shut down by June 2022, 2 1/2 years ahead of the date the Trudeau government had set for phasing out open-net salmon farms in B.C.

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“Mowi is asking the courts to find the decisions unreasonable and to set them aside,” the company says in a news release.

There are roughly 19 salmon farms affected by the order, and Mowi owns the bulk of them.

“The decisions and related timelines and lack of precision are unreasonable, and threaten the viability of the Mowi’s entire operations in British Columbia,” Mowi’s statement said.

The fish farms the company operates in the Discovery Islands constitutes about 30 per cent of the company’s business operations in B.C.

“Losing a third of its operations due to a unilateral government decision puts the company’s entire operations at risk of closure,” the company said.

“Mowi is scheduled to stock several farms in early 2021, but under the minister’s decisions is currently unable to do so,” the company added. “If the decision stands, Mowi will have to cull several million young fish currently in hatcheries, as it has no alternative locations to place those fish.”

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