Grieg Seafoods will decommission fish farm facilities within shishalh swiya

November 14, 2022
Sechelt, BC – Grieg Seafoods will decommission all of their fish farm facilities located within shishalh swiya (birthplace, world) by February of 2023. This decision is the outcome of a consent based decision-making process through which shishalh reviewed and considered Grieg’s existing facilities. shishalh Nation, known as the salmon people, have deep concerns about the impacts of finfish aquaculture on wild salmon. shishalh has raised these concerns with Federal and Provincial governments for more than three decades. These concerns have only increased over the years as we have witnessed the substantial decline in the swiya salmon populations, which has had dramatic impacts on shishalh way of life.

shishalh’s consent-based decision-making process created space for in-depth dialogue between shishalh and Grieg Seafoods regarding shishalh concerns about potential impacts of finfish aquaculture farms. shishalh uses a precautionary principle in all decision making and ensuring long-term sustainability of the fisheries resource is central to shishalh’s decision. Through the process shishalh heard from Grieg Seafoods and third-party experts in the aquaculture field regarding the impacts of finfish farms and potential mitigation measures. shishalh ultimately concluded, applying the precautionary principle in a manner consistent with shishalh laws and responsibilities and in order to protect shishalh resources, including wild salmon, the farms must be removed.

“We commend Grieg Seafoods for working co-operatively with shishalh Nation through the decision-making process. Consent based decision-making, one aspect of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is a step forward and an important part of how decisions are made in the shishalh swiya. shishalh swiya was the main hub for finfish aquaculture in the Province of BC when the industry began in the 1980s. Fewer farms exist now, but our concerns remain. shishalh has worked tirelessly to restore salmon populations and protect fish habitat. Protecting this precious resource for future generations has always been our priority. Removal of the farms is one step in protecting the wild salmon,” said hiwus Warren Paull.

Following the decision, Grieg Seafoods and shishalh have been working on a decommissioning strategy to ensure the sites are left in a healthy condition. Grieg intends for all fish to be removed from the farms by end of November 2022, with full decommissioning scheduled for completion February 2023. shishalh and Grieg will continue to work together to ensure any environmental concerns are addressed as their farms are removed.

For more information contact:
hiwus Warren Paull at 604.885.2273