VICTORIA – The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has issued one new finfish license, one replacement finfish license, and one new shellfish license, and denied another application for a shellfish license. These decisions are based on the biological suitability of the sites, the technical merits of the applications, and consultation with First Nations, communities and other government agencies. A replacement finfish license was issued to Creative Salmon Company Ltd. to grow Chinook salmon at a marine water-based facility on the southwest corner of Warne Island at the entrance of Tofino Inlet. The site is a replacement for the Tranquil aquaculture license, which is being relocated due to poor tidal flushing and concerns by First Nations. Surrender of the Tranquil site is a condition of the tenure offer for Warne Island. The proposed site lies solely within the asserted traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, who provided letters of support for the application. The second finfish license was issued to Grieg Seafood B.C. Ltd. to grow Atlantic salmon at a marine water-based facility in Nootka Sound on the north shore of Muchalat Inlet, just east of the juncture with Williamson Passage. It is the last of six sites discussed in a settlement agreement by the Province and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. Provisions were made in the agreement for siting a total of six marine finfish farms in the settlement area, only four of which were to be operational at any one time to allow for fallowing and better site management. This site is located in an area designated as acceptable for aquaculture by the Nootka Sound Coastal Land Use Plan. In another decision, an application by Island Scallops Ltd., to amend their existing license to include 125 hectares of sub-surface longlines for Japanese scallop culture, was approved. The site is located off the east side of Vancouver Island near Bowser. The license requires that all farm structures be a minimum of 1.1 km off-shore, with no surface structures other than buoys required to ensure safe navigation. Finally, a submission by Discovery Diving Ltd., for a geoduck clam sub-tidal facility proposed off Wilson Creek on the Sunshine Coast, was denied. Amongst other factors, the site was rejected due to the sensitive habitat designation of the area. Numerous parties were consulted on these applications, including the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ministry of Forests and Range, Ministry of Environment, Environment Canada, the First Nations groups in the area, non-governmental organizations, the Regional Districts and the public. All decisions on aquaculture licences in British Columbia are based on the following principles: fairness; transparency; efficiency; accountability; protection of public health and safety; protection of the environment; and sustainable economic development.