I receive posts from Coast Protectors and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs on their stance against fish farms. The Broughton Archipelago First Nation has been complaining to DFO for 30 years now. And now, during the spawning run, comes the news that Cooke Aqua has had its nets break and release up to 300,000 farmed fish south of the San Juans, at Cypress Island, WA.
Here is what they have to say:
Good morning Dc,NEWS RELEASE
For your information and/or further distribution, please see the following joint news release from the UBCIC and the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance regarding the massive escape of Atlantic salmon from an aquaculture facility in Washington State, near British Columbia.
Enjoy your Thursday Dc.
At the Eleventh-Hour, BC’s Wild Salmon in Crisis
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – August 24, 2017) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance (FNWSA) are shocked and infuriated by Cook Aquaculture’s release of 305,000 specimens of an invasive salmon species into the waters of BC and Washington.
The UBCIC and the FNWSA have continuously advocated for the removal of open net-pen salmon farms in our waters and for BC and Canada to support a transition to on-land closed-containment aquaculture.
Our wild salmon stocks continue to return at historic lows. Wild salmon are confronted with a gauntlet of obstacles severely impacting their survival rates.
The impact of the open-net pen fish farms continues to be overlooked and unaddressed by the governments of BC and Canada. The aquaculture industry, with numerous sites blocking critical wild salmon migratory paths, has been definitively linked to the decline of salmon stocks worldwide and is correlated with increased levels of sea-lice, Piscine Reo-Virus (PRV) and Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) disease in BC.
As of Tuesday, August 21st, our wild salmon are now confronted with an additional 305,000 fish potentially spreading sea-lice, PRV and HSMI throughout our oceans and rivers and competing for food stocks and spawning grounds with threatened wild populations of chinook and steelhead trout.
Chief Bob Chamberlin, states, “If the governments of BC and Canada continue to ignore the impacts of open net-pen aquaculture on wild salmon we are looking to an imminent future without the constitutionally protected wild salmon food source critical to First Nations in BC, and without a once proud economic driver that our wild salmon fisheries provided to Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.”
An immediate moratorium must be placed on all open net-pen fish farm applications coast wide, and significant steps must be taken to remove fish farms from our waters to on-land facilities. Canada and BC must act to implement all the recommendations of the Cohen Commission.
Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President-Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Chair-FNWSA
Phone: (604) 684-0231
This release is online at http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/wildsalmoncrisis
We are #CoastProtectors! Please donate!
And new news from the First Nations and Alex Morton in the Broughton Archipelago.
"On August 24, 2017, Ernest Alexander Alfred and a small group peacefully occupied the Marine Harvest salmon farm called Swanson Island. They state that they will remain on the farm until their chiefs are satisfied that the Province of BC has cancelled the farm’s Licence of Occupation and the farm leaves the territory. The farm is located 17km east of Alert Bay."
This clearly, and finally, is aboriginals refusing to have fish farms in their territories and laying the gauntlet in the hands of the Premier of BC and the Green Parties, John Horgan and Andrew Weaver. Both canvassed in the 2017 election on the promise to get fish farms out of the BC ocean.
If you look at the video that has come from this Martin Sheen vessel trip, you will have seen tons of herring in the nets with pretty diseased looking farmed salmon. Hear young chief Quocksister: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7e9LirqBNY.
And do consider giving some funding to our First Nations in their struggles against fish farms/Kinder Morgan and other worthwhile environmental causes. In this case, aboriginals can do what the rest of us can't. So please back them up. It takes 60 days to close a licence. That's all, but the Liberals wouldn't do anything/nor would the federal Liberals do anything. Times have changed.
This video is the one that shows similar conditions at a whole lot of fish farms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kucvFJMSJEk#t=41.284254.