Pre-Operational Considerations for Marine Finfish Aquaculture: Site Selection and Allocation in British Columbia

by S. Joseph Truscott, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and, Fisheries, Victoria, Canada,
L. Michael Coon, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and, Fisheries, Victoria, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


Marine fish farming is a new component in the complex mixture of coastal resource uses in British Columbia. To ensure that the marine finfish aquaculture industry develops within an environmentally responsible, publicly accountable framework that addresses conflicting resource uses, fish farm applications are rigorously reviewed and adjudicated before locational and operational licenses are granted. Government has developed locational guidelines for siting fish farms to mitigate environmental concerns or conflicts with other coastal uses. Fish farm proposals are analyzed to determine their technical merit. Specially developed biophysical criteria are used to assess the capability of proposed sites to support the proposed level of production. These assessments include computer modeling of the rate of organic fallout to determine the potential for unacceptable sediment accumulation. Coastal Resource Interest Studies (CRIS) for the south coast have been conducted to avoid or resolve use conflicts for a finite aquatic land resource. Biophysical Capability Studies have been and are being conducted to identify areas according to their capability to sustain fish farming. Public response and research indicate that these measures have helped to mitigate environmental concerns and user conflicts and facilitate responsible and sustainable industry development.

Subject Headings: Coastal environment | Agriculture | Site investigation | Computer models | Resource management | Mixtures | Industries | Frames | British Columbia | Canada

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