Another humpback whale dies on B.C.’s west coast after being caught in fish farm nets

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ABOVE: A third humpback has died along the BC coast after getting caught up in fish farm nets. As Paul Johnson reports, these sad stories are raising concerns on both sides of the salmon farming debate – Dec 1, 2016

Worries about humpback whales on the West Coast continue after another whale was found dead this week.

This latest incident happened on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Gold River.

The juvenile whale died after getting snagged between a fish farm’s two layers of netting at Grieg Seafood’s Atrevida salmon farm in Nootka Sound.

In a statement from Grieg Seafood, a spokesperson said:

Grieg, in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officials, is currently investigating. This is the first time in 16 years of operating that Grieg Seafood has experienced an incident involving a whale at any of its farms in B.C. Dive and ROV teams [underwater robotics] have confirmed that the primary containment nets on the salmon farm have not been breached and there has been no escape of Atlantic salmon.

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Environmentalists now want the prime minister to step in and take action.

“If [Justin Trudeau] really wants to protect the ocean, he should get rid of open net salmon farms,” said Craig Orr with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. “The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is expanding allowing six-year licenses instead of one year. We know they’re deadly to wild salmon and now we’re seeing they’re deadly to marine mammals.”

Wednesday’s entanglement was the third in B.C. this fall. On Sept. 12, a humpback became entangled in anchor line in Kelmtu. Then in November, a humpback whale died after becoming entangled in the same company’s anchor support line.