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General News · 21st October 2009
Noba Anderson
Last week I received notice that the Provincial Government's 'Front Counter BC' has received an application by Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership for a 'License of Occupation' in the Gorge Harbour. A few days ago the Strathcona Regional District received further information through the formal referral process. I have attached those files here for your information.

The application for a 'License of Occupation' is for a 15.7 hectare shellfish aquaculture lease and can be viewed at http://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=13685. ILMB is accepting comment until November 6th. On their website, you will find the attached map in a pdf icon and a link through which to submit comments. The vast majority of new shellfish tenures are Licenses of Occupation, including this one (see definitions further down the page).

At this point, advertisement of the application is the responsibility of the applicant not of the Province.

Ken Albrecht, Kenneth.Albrechtgov.bc.ca, 250-751-3106, with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, is the contact person for this file.

Noba Anderson

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Licence of Occupation
A licence of occupation may be issued where minimal improvements are proposed, where short-term tenure is required, and in remote areas where survey costs are prohibitive. It may also be used to allow development to proceed while awaiting completion of survey requirements for a lease or right of way.

A licence of occupation conveys fewer rights than a lease. It conveys non-exclusive use for the purpose described, is not a registerable interest that can be mortgaged, and does not require a survey.

A licence of occupation does not allow the tenure holder to curtail public access over the licence area except where it would impact the licencees’ right to use the land as per the licence document. Government may authorize overlapping and layering of tenures.

The standard form of Crown land tenure for a shellfish aquaculture operation is a licence of occupation. A five-year initial licence of occupation may be used to authorize experimental shellfish aquaculture sites or sites involving new technologies. One replacement of the initial five-year licence can be authorized if the site is still under development (as confirmed by the Province). Otherwise, a standard 20-year licence of occupation would generally be issued following the initial development licence.

The standard form of Crown land tenure for a finfish aquaculture operation is a licence of occupation. A five-year initial licence of occupation may be used to authorize experimental finfish aquaculture sites or sites involving new technologies. The standard term for a subsequent licence of occupation following the initial development licence is 5 years, but may be for up to 20 years at the discretion of the statutory decision maker.

A management plan is required for all finfish and shellfish tenure applications (see Appendix 3).

Lease
A lease should be issued where long term tenure is required, where substantial improvements are proposed, and/or where definite boundaries are required in order to avoid conflicts.

The tenure holder has the right to modify the land and/or construct improvements as specified in the tenure contract. The tenure holder is granted quiet enjoyment of the area (exclusive use).

A legal survey will generally be required at the applicant’s expense to define the tenured area. A lease is a registerable interest in the land that is mortgageable.

The standard lease term is 30 years for a shellfish aquaculture operation and five years for a finfish aquaculture operation.

Aquaculture proponents may apply for a lease as a replacement for their initial five-year licence of occupation. Crown land leases are not typically used for aquaculture tenure and where they are, it is more common for shellfish operations than finfish farms. It is at the discretion of the Director, Aquaculture Operations Branch, MAL , to offer a lease where the particulars of the situation warrant it. A lease will only be offered where it meets the requirements of good land-use decision-making and does not compromise riparian rights, marine navigation, First Nations’ interests or other significant values as determined by the Director, Aquaculture Operations Branch, MAL . A management plan is required for all finfish and shellfish tenure applications.