Marine Harvest Canada Appeals Recent Court Decision

 June 8, 2015 – Campbell River, B.C.

Marine Harvest Canada has filed an appeal regarding the Federal Court’s recent decision concerning aquaculture regulations and the transfer of salmon from freshwater hatcheries to ocean-based farms. The company cites errors in fact and law as grounds for the appeal.

The appeal has been filed on a number of grounds, including significant factual errors Justice Rennie made in his findings. Contrary to his reasons for decision, the fish disease known as Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) has never been detected in Canada, despite extensive testing of farm-raised and wild salmon. In addition, the piscine reovirus (PRV) is known to be a relatively common and benign fish virus that existed in B.C. before salmon farming.

In its appeal, the company says that Justice Rennie erred in law by not placing the evidentiary onus on the applicant to show that the aquaculture license conditions were unreasonable, and the judge applied the wrong standard of review, replacing the Minister of Fisheries’ view of what may be harmful with his own.

“These errors in law, and fact, leave us no choice but to appeal the decision,” states Clare Backman, Director of Public Affairs. “We agree that the health of the ecosystem is paramount, and continue to abide by a regulation that ensures the transport of healthy fish from our aquaculture facilities.”

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has also filed an appeal.

Marine Harvest Canada is Canada’s leading supplier of farm-raised salmon and the only North American source of Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified salmon. Its processing plants, marine and land based operations are located on and around northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia.