Marine Harvest Canada

Marine Harvest Canada

June 26, 2008 15:29 ET

Marine Harvest Proposes Operational Changes in Broughton to Protect Wild Salmon

CAMPBELL RIVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - BC's largest aquaculture company today announced a commitment to coordinate its operations in the Broughton Archipelago to create corridors during the spring out-migration of wild juvenile fish.

Under its Coordinated Area Management Plan (CAMP), Marine Harvest will create migratory corridors in the Broughton Archipelago during the outmigration season from March 1st to June 30th each year. Beginning in 2010 the company's four farms in Lower Knight Inlet will be emptied of fish during this time period. In odd-numbered years beginning in 2011 Marine Harvest's five farms in Tribune-Fife will be empty during the out-migration. At no time during the out-migration will any Marine Harvest Broughton-area farms contain adult fish.

During the out-migration season in 2009 only one farm at the western end of the Tribune-Fife corridor will have fish present. This site will be closely monitored to ensure the wellbeing of out migrating juvenile wild salmon.

The plan is intended to continue for six years while monitoring the effectiveness of the migration corridors.

"We are ready to move forward with CAMP pending the required government approvals," says Clare Backman, Director of Environmental Compliance and Community Relations at Marine Harvest. "We briefed the government, First Nations and environmental groups on this Plan in March. We took this step as a precautionary measure. We certainly intend to meet with the new minister, Hon. Stan Hagen, as soon as possible to ensure he is fully knowledgeable about our plan and its benefits.

"The amendments we require have already been applied for and do not increase our overall production in the Broughton," says Backman. "The amendments, which have gone through the required technical review will provide for the operational flexibility needed to implement CAMP, but we need government to make a decision quickly.

"We developed this plan to bring forward a real and practical measure that responds to the government's request that industry come up with solutions to public concerns about the impacts of sea lice on wild fish," says Backman. He also notes that some First Nations in the area have not yet lent support for the Plan.

Marine Harvest is the world largest aquaculture company with operations in Norway, Scotland, Chile, and in British Columbia. Here Marine Harvest Canada produces about 42,000 tonnes of high quality farmed Atlantic salmon every year for sale to export markets. The Company employs about 500 people on Vancouver Island and the central coast. For more information please visit us at www.MarineHarvestCanada.com.

Contact Information