British Columbia vs. Norway: A Comparison of Aquaculture Regulatory Regimes

The BC Government often claims it has the most stringent regulation of salmon farms in the world. To test this claim, the Georgia Strait Alliance and the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation asked the ELC to compare BC’s legislative regime with that of Norway. ELC student Aaron Dow completed a study of the two regulatory regimes, which is attached.

The clients were very happy with the ELC’s work, which specifies the ways in which BC regulation lags behind that of Norway. A representative of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform has described Aaron Dow’s work in this way:

The work done by the student was a great success. It was definitely useful. It took us a step forward to have the legislative comparisons with Norway all located and summarized in one document. The document that the student, Aaron Dow, produced has been used by coalition members and quoted in numerous media stories. For example, when government announced its 2005 Action Plan for the salmon lice problem, the coalition was able to point to Aaron’s document to show that the lice level triggers being set in BC were higher than the legislated triggers in Norway. The report has been useful in a number of critiques produced by the Coast Alliance for Aquaculture Reform. The Alliance is in the process of summarizing Dow’s report into a 2-page summary that will be widely circulated to the public.

David Lane, Executive Director of T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation has commented:

The salmon farming regulation comparison was a very useful paper for our Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform member groups. It is well researched, well written and easy to follow. It has been circulated to the ten member groups of CAAR and it has become a briefing document for staff and volunteers. It is the product we were hoping for. Thanks to you, thanks to Aaron Dow and thanks to the Environmental Law Centre for making this happen.