New data released by Mainstreet Research, has revealed that almost 75% of Canadians living in British Columbia oppose open pen net salmon farming. Of this group, just under half (48%) of the poll respondents supported an immediate ban on the practice.

“Despite a quarter of residents not having an opinion, those who do have an opinion on an immediate ban are certainly in the vast majority,” stated President of Mainstreet Research, Quito Maggi. “This goes for both those who say they support an immediate ban and those who say they agree that the government should impose immediate restrictions and a phased in ban by 2025.”

“This survey also reveals that open net pen salmon farm raised salmon are consumed by less than three in ten British Columbia residents (28%),” Maggi added. British Columbia currently has more than 85 open pen net salmon farms operating in its coastal waters.

Tavish Campbell from Wild First, the company that commissioned the study as part of a wider investigation, noted that the impacts of open net pen salmon farms on those stocks “would have a profound impact on the ecology of BC, and on many other issues BC residents feel strongly about.”

Open pen net salmon farming poses an adverse risk to the surrounding environment because waste products from the salmon, including feed and feces, contaminate the water. This unnatural waste alters the chemical composition of the water and therefore alters the biodiversity of the area.

While many people are opting to purchase wild salmon instead, another option for fish consumers is moving closer to market in the form of lab-grown salmon and plant-based seafood options that are indistinguishable from fish.

In March, survey data found that nearly 40% of British Columbians under 35 years-old eat a vegan or vegetarian diet — more than three times greater than the average meat-free percentage for all Canadians.

The British Columbia area is reputable as a mecca for vegan and vegetarian food. From mainstream animal-free goods in the supermarkets to plant-based ice cream by local brand Nora’s stocked at Whole Foods locations, and even an all-vegan vending machine in Whistler.


Image Credit: mycowichanvalleynow