Aquaculture policy and regulations

We build processes, capacity, and relationships to help First Nations in BC influence the integrated planning and management of Pacific fisheries and aquatic resources at the province-wide level.


Canada is working to improve aquaculture management in BC as a key part of its Blue Economy economic strategy. Working with the Aquaculture Coordinating Committee (ACC) and the AFN’s National Aquaculture Working Group (NAWG), FNFC supports First Nations collaborative engagement in various province-wide and national aquaculture policy and regulatory activities and processes to inform how aquaculture is managed in BC and Canada, including:

  • Transition plan for open net pen fish farms
  • Area-based aquaculture management
  • Amendments to aquaculture regulations
  • First Nations-led aquaculture enhancement activities
  • Development of a federal Aquaculture Act

First Nations interests and concerns related to aquaculture are diverse. Many First Nations in BC own/operate aquaculture operations, including freshwater enhancement, shellfish, closed containment salmon farms, finfish operations, and plant-based farms. These operations directly support First Nations food security and economic opportunities. Meanwhile, many First Nations are also engaged in processes to address the impacts of open net pen farms on wild Pacific salmon stocks.

With so many activities and initiatives underway, coordination among First Nations in BC is needed to meaningfully and effectively engage, bring coherent messaging to the forefront, and lead aquaculture conversations at the province-wide scale.



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Resources and publications

Joint Resolution of British Columbia First Nations. [2009]

First Nations in British Columbia have constitutionally protected title and rights that have been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada and by international conventions and treaties, including UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

BC First Nations Statement of Solidarity and Cooperation on Aquaculture. [2009]

Status and Evolution of BC’s Aquaculture Debates. [2018]

Industrial salmon aquaculture came to British Columbia in the 1970s. Though the first attempt to farm salmon in B.C. was by Crown Zellerbach in 1971, the company was unable to obtain a license.

First Nations and aquaculture in British Columbia - cultivating change to preserve tradition brochure. [2016]

For thousands of years, First Nations people have gathered food from the sea and shore, the rivers and lakes — and they have also made changes to increase food productivity.


Janson Wong, Senior Manager,