Farmed salmon giant appeals court ruling that hands industry jurisdiction to Ottawa
By Larry Pynn, Vancouver SunMarch 9, 2009 2:30 PM
B.C.’s biggest producer of farmed salmon said Monday it has launched an appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that found the federal government — not the province — has exclusive jurisdiction over the management of salmon farming.
Clare Backman, director of environmental relations for Marine Harvest Canada, argued in a news release that the court failed to recognize that farmed salmon are the property of the company and should not be characterized as a “fishery” to be managed by Ottawa.
“We have control over the entire life cycle of our salmon,” Backman said. “This is clearly not a public fishery as anglers, commercial fishermen or the public may understand it.
“Domesticated creatures, like farm-raised salmon, are private property, and are not part of the fishery as a public resource.”
He said clarity on this point is needed to “avoid serious concerns by Marine Harvest about the future of its operations and investment in B.C.”
Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled Feb. 9 that “fish which are reared in fin-fish farms on the coast of British Columbia are either a part of the overall British Columbia fishery or are a fishery unto themselves. In either case they fall under the jurisdiction of Parliament.”
The ruling upheld a legal challenge led by salmon researcher Alexandra Morton with support from the Wilderness Tourism Association, the Area E Gillnetters Association, the Fishing Vessel Owners Association and the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society.
Hinkson suspended his decision for 12 months to allow the senior governments to sort out the transfer of power.
Marine Harvest spokesman Ian Roberts said at the time of the ruling that the company had already worked with both senior governments and was not concerned about the possibility Ottawa would take over responsibility from the province.
Norwegian-owned Marine Harvest Canada says it employs 530 people and produces 40,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon each year for customers in Canada, the U.S., and Asia.firstname.lastname@example.org
And why would they be "concerned" whatsoever? The Feds have proven near unquestionable support.