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A defamation case against a fish farm critic cannot be turned into a public inquiry that puts aquaculture on trial for its practices globally, a Supreme Court of British Columbia judge has ruled.

Madam Justice Elaine Adair on Wednesday refused an application from defense lawyer David Sutherland to amend the pleadings of Don Staniford, a controversial fish farm critic who says the case is an attempt by big business to silence him.

Mr. Sutherland had sought to broaden the scope of the case to look at the impact of fish farming internationally.

His application came on the third day of the trial, in which Mainstream Canada is accusing Mr. Staniford of damaging the company by comparing farmed salmon to tobacco.

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