BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO Salmon farms on B.C.’s central coast have been a focus of protests in recent years.

‘Namgis First Nation sues DFO again, says they aren’t protecting wild salmon

“The Federal Court has found DFO’s refusal to prohibit stocking of fish infected with PRV unlawful”

The ‘Namgis First Nation are taking the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) through the court system once again.

According to a press release issued by ‘Namgis Chief Don Svanvik, the nation has “filed an application for judicial review of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Oct. 3, 2019 policy decision not to prohibit the stocking of open-net pen fish farms with Atlantic salmon infected with the Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV).”

RELATED: After the election: The future of fish farms in the North Island

The relase also noted that “Under this PRV Policy, smolts are to be tested for two supposed ‘strains’ of PRV prior to transfer into open net pens but will not be tested for a supposedly ‘native strain’ of PRV. DFO has not produced any evidence that such a ‘native strain’ of PRV exists. DFO will not prohibit stocking fish farms with fish infected with PRV.”

“This is a flagrant disregard of the precautionary principle, scientific research, our constitutionally protected title and rights, and the findings of the Federal Court,” says Svanvik via press release. “Twice the Federal Court has found DFO’s refusal to prohibit stocking of fish infected with PRV unlawful. In the first decision, the Federal Court found that DFO has a positive duty to prohibit ‘transfers [into the marine environment] if the fish have diseases or disease agents that may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish’.”


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