The opinions of BC’s public fishers on open net-pen salmon farms
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In British Columbia (BC), there are 176,819 active resident anglers in the jurisdiction of BC’s Tidal Waters, the sport fishing industry creates revenues of $1.1 billion and employs 9,000 workers (BC Stats, 2018; Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2019b). The objective of my research study was to uncover the values, opinions, and beliefs this prominent stakeholder group holds about the future of salmon aquaculture-related policies and industry-related decisions impacting BC’s coastal tidal waters. Using a sequential mixed-method design and purposeful sampling, my study focused on surveying and interviewing members of the Sport Fishing Institute of BC (SFI). The results reveal that the respondents are concerned about potential health risks to wild salmon due to disease and pathogen transfer from open net-pen salmon farm design, but they would support a move for BC’s aquaculture industry to move to land-based tank operations.