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BC  

First Nations get final say

The British Columbia government has given fish farm operators four years to show the open-net pens don't harm wild salmon stocks and to get approval from the First Nation whose territory they occupy.

The government announced the new policies as tenures expired for 20 fish farms operating around the Broughton Archipelago off Vancouver Island.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says talks between Broughton-area First Nations and the New Democrat government about the future of the tenures are ongoing and she wouldn't comment on their status.

She says the tenures for those fish farms will continue on a month-to-month basis, but they must reach agreements with First Nations by June 2022.

A court ruling in 2009 clarified that the federal government had jurisdiction over regulating the farms, and Popham says they'll look to the Department of Fisheries to determine if the farms threaten wild salmon.

Last week, the New Democrat government announced a 14-member advisory council, established to help restore and preserve B.C.'s wild salmon populations.



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