Joe Willie and Willie Moon hand an eviction notice to a Cermaq salmon farm employee.

First Nations call for end of fish farms

The Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw boarded a salmon farm to begin the process of removing the fish farm industry from their waters.

Last Thursday, the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw boarded a salmon farm, for the second time in three days, to begin the process of removing the fish farm industry from their waters.

Boats from the communities of Gwayasdums (Gilford Village), U’kwa’nalis (Kingcome Village) and Alert Bay converged on the undisclosed salmon farm.

According to a press release issued by biologist Alexandra Morton, one third of the BC salmon farming industry is using Musgamagw Dzawada’nuxw territory without their permission and despite their voiced opposition.

“The people who are benefitting from these farms are benefitting over the suffering of our people,” said Dzawada’enuxw hereditary leader Farron Soukochoff .

“I wouldn’t even call these fish, they don’t belong in our waters killing off our wild salmon,” said Dzawada’enuxw hereditary leader Joe Willie.

“We have heard the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that honouring the rights of First Nations is a ‘sacred obligation’ to the Liberal Government of Canada,” said Hereditary leader and Chief Councillor Willie Moon. “Our people have spoken. We want salmon farms out of our territory.”

Their demands to the federal government are: the removal of all farm salmon in Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw territory within three months; no more farm fish transferred into Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw territory; and access to all fish in the farms to take samples; and that the band offices be contacted prior to harvest so an observer can be present to inventory the wild fish in the pens.

On Aug. 15, three Dzawada’enuxw traditional leaders also boarded the Cermaq/Mitsubishi salmon farm in the Burdwood Islands and served an eviction notice to all salmon farms in their territory.

BC Salmon Farmers Association Executive Director Jeremy Dunn confirmed that this particular site is “really the only place on the coast where there isn’t an agreement in place with First Nations,” and that those sites have been there since the 1980s.

“Those are long-time sites,” Dunn said. “BC salmon farmers have a long, positive history of working with First Nations for over 20 years. We have 20 agreements with nations which cover 78 per cent of the Salmon raised in BC and that track record of positive relationships speaks for itself,” he said. “Not everyone is going to be in agreement, but our members are very open to dialogue with all nations on BC’s coast.”

The current eviction notices are “all part of that ongoing Sea Shepherd campaign,” said Dunn.

Established in 1984, the BC Salmon Farmers Association is a forum for communication and cooperation within the salmon farming sector, and the focal point for liaison between the sector and government.

 

Just Posted

Coroner’s inquest into fatal police shooting in Port Hardy begins in Campbell River

James Reginald Butters, 24, killed in 2015 after RCMP responded to call of male uttering threats

Forest fire 1.5 km from Sara Lake listed as out of control

While the fire is classified as out of control, they expect it to be under control imminently.

Port Hardy casting call

This is a paid gig $400 per person for the day.

62.5 pounder caught off north of Port Hardy

“It was a team effort to land this 62.5 lb fish”

20th annual OrcaFest takes over Port McNeill

Check out the North Island Gazette’s OrcaFest photo gallery!

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

‘Unsubstantiated’ bomb threat against CP Rail in Revelstoke

On Aug. 18, a bomb threat was made against CP Rail in Revelstoke

Victoria father charged with double murder of his daughters takes the stand

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Catholic church buys $7.5M equestrian facility in B.C., plans ‘agri-retreat’ centre

Church hopes to grow crops, host students and others on Bradner property

New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

Inspections, standards replace ‘wild west,’ Judy Darcy says

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

66% of B.C. residents want opt-out system for organ donation: poll

Support was lowest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces

Vancouver Island rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Qualicum Beach school and difficult to remove

Most Read