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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analysis of the policy framework for the development of BC salmon farming Zamluk, Rita Margaret


Between 1985 and 1995, government agencies and interest groups interacted in a recurring cycle of moratoria and reviews in attempts to resolve a wide variety of environmental, economic and social concerns about salmon farming while making policies to manage the development of the new industry in British Columbia. Using policy community theory, this thesis analyzes how the community members developed the salmon farming policy framework. Then, drawing on the recommendations that were already advanced by aquaculture planners from the early 1980s, the thesis evaluates the policy framework that exists today. Depending upon their power resources and their position within the policy community, the members of the community used different methods to influence the policy process. The members of the sub-government maintained the status quo by using methods such as restricting the access for interest groups to the policy process and limiting the flow of information to the attentive public. The members of the attentive public increased their power by forming coalitions and putting forward a common policy statement to the public and government. Maintaining the status quo became difficult when the New Democratic Party (NDP) government came to power. In revising provincial environmental policies , the NDP changed the relative influence of the government agencies in the sub government. These changes increased conflict among agencies which the government addressed by undertaking an environmental assessment and a public policy review. The B.C. salmon farming policy community is identified as a pressure pluralist community which emerges when jurisdictional responsibility is fragmented among a number of agencies and no mediating mechanism exists to bring together the members of the community. As a result , the community tends to make short term policy and functions without a long term strategy. The thesis concludes with six recommendations designed to increase the access and input of all those who want to participate in the policy process, to address the diversity of issues raised within the policy community, to insure social accountability when interest groups implement policy , and to fill the gaps in the existing policy framework.

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