SURREY JOB LOSSES: Discovery Islands Salmon Farm Closure Impacts Surrey’s Economy

On December 17, 2020, Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Minister Bernadette Jordan ordered all salmon farms in the Discovery Islands removed by June 30, 2022, and that those farms not be restocked at that time.

“We knew that if the decision was left unaltered it would shut down more than 24% of BC’s farmed salmon production, resulting in hundreds of job losses in Surrey, euthanization of millions of fish, and the loss of millions in annual GDP,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

Surrey is an important hub for salmon farming in BC, and is home to numerous companies that provide services such as fish processing, feed milling, truck transportation, packaging, warehousing and distribution to the salmon farming sector. Direct economic benefits generated by these companies in Surrey before the federal government shut down salmon farming operations in the Discovery Islands have amounted to:

$220 million in annual revenue
$46 million in GDP
344 full-time jobs
$24 million in annual salaries.

“The Surrey Board of Trade asks that the Federal Government work with the industry to ensure that there are adequate supports in place to enable a transition. The impact to the economy has been and will continue to be devastating contributing to the already stressed food supply chain demands.”

“When the pandemic started, salmon farmers were considered essential businesses, but now they are being forced to close with limited time and support from the government. We need to ensure that our labour force can reskill, limit the economic impact to rural areas and Surrey, and can reduce the food shortage that the world is experiencing.”


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,