Fish Farm Update – August 2018

1.BC government: Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food
On May 31, 2018, the legislative assembly tasked the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food with conducting consultations to examine the health, habitat and management of wild salmon, as well as the sustainability of the wild salmon industry in British Columbia.

BC Wild Salmon Advisory Council
On June 11, 2018, the government established the Wild Salmon Advisory Council. It is intended to bring experts together to help develop a wild salmon strategy to protect B.C. salmon. 14 members: co-chairs Doug Routley, MLA and Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk First Nation. The Advisory Council will develop and write an options paper on a made-in-B.C. wild salmon strategy.

The Advisory Council will be supported by the Wild Salmon Secretariat, which includes staff from the Office of the Premier and contracted support from B.C. Coastal First Nations. The Wild Salmon Secretariat’s options paper will be presented to the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food.

2.BC government: Decision to renew fish farm licenses

June 22, 2018. The BC government announced that it will give 20 fish farms 4 years to establish i) that their operations meet federal DFO standards and don’t endanger wild salmon, and ii) consent from local First Nations to operate on their territories. Until 2022 the province will renew these licenses on a month-to-month basis. This will bring the timing of provincial licensing into sinc with federal DFO licenses.

Vancouver Sun, June 27 Re: B.C. government sets 2022 deadline for coastal fish farms.
“This decision is disastrous for wild salmon and communities all along their migration routes. Wild salmon are in trouble; First Nations, the Cohen Commission, stream keepers, hatcheries, commercial and sports fishers, tourism operators and municipalities could not be clearer about this. It appears that the provincial government is prepared to gamble with the very existence of wild salmon.
This is not the time to be cautious, and this was a cautious decision. The province could have challenged the industry bias of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and used its licensing power to force it to reconsider its responsibility for wild salmon. Rather, they appear to have simply set the stage for a four-year battle that’s weighted on the industry side.
The NDP also seems prepared to take Indigenous people through a long, expensive legal process rather than act quickly on their clear lack of consent.
Alice de Wolff, Comox Valley Council of Canadians, Courtenay” Continue reading

Nanaimo Town Hall with Prime Minister Trudeau

Friday, February 2
Registration at 9:00 AM – first come, first served.
Vancouver Island University, Lower Cafeteria.
Building 185 – 750 Fourth St.  Nanaimo (The line-up is expected to start by 7 am)
The event will start at 11 AM in the Gymnasium.
This campus map will help:   https://www2.viu.ca/map.
There are several facebook pages – the most active seems to be
Fish farm activists: 
Questions:   if you are inside and get to ask a question, Alex Morton recommends that this one is key.
“Why is your minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc fighting in court to make it legal to put piscine reovirus-infected farm salmon into fish farms along the BC coast, when the laws of Canada prohibit this and the Federal Court already ruled against this behaviour.”
Background – fish farmers have told the courts 5/6 of their hatcheries are infected, and that their operations would be “severely impacted” if they were actually prohibited from transferring these fish into marine pens.  The virus is Norwegian, it is spreading to wild salmon and appears to make it harder for the fish to swim up the rivers.

Signs

  • LeBlanc’s face and “Stop allowing PRV-infected farm salmon into BC waters” . “Fish Farms Out”.   Eg.s of large signs for rally.
  • large signs will not likely be allowed inside the event, but people might be able to bring a smaller cloth one in their pockets, to open at an appropriate moment.  Careful with this strategy, so as not to derail Trudeau having to respond “our” questions.

Update on Fish Farm Opposition

FN’S Government to Provincial Government
The Chiefs of 5 First Nations from the Broughton Archipelago will meet Premier John Horgan and other provincial Ministers on January 30th in Vancouver. The purpose of this meeting is for the BC government to indicate how it will respond to the First Nations’ demands to not renew fish farm licenses on their territories when they come up for renewal in June.

Federal Government
• DFO is proposing to download responsibility for farmed salmon inspection to Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which has no mandate to protect wild fish.
• DFO’s conflict of interest – it can not, or will not protect the industry and wild salmon at the same time.
• Bill C262, NDP Bill to make all Canadian laws consistent with UNDRIP, is in second reading in Parliament. Liberals have indicated they will support it. Vote is in March 2018.

‘Namgis, Swanson Island Camp
• Issued eviction notices to Marine Harvest on January 20th.
• Chief Ernest Alfred observing a Swanson farm and occupying a camp on Swanson.

Musgamagw Dzawada’enxw, Midsummer Island Cedar Camp
• Monitoring 18 farms in their territory for re-stocking.
• Molina Dawson and Karissa Glendale observing farms and occupying Cedar camp on Midsummer.

Matriarch Camp, Victoria
• Tsastiqualus Ambers Umbas and Shawna Green were arrested on January 18, later released until their court date in Victoria on February 19.
• The camp will be moved to another location, details tba. Continue reading

LINK ARMS WITH US

FISH FARMS OUT From First Nations’ Unceded Territorial Waters

Support the Observers!

In late August, First Nations people of the ‘Namgis, Mamalilikala, Lawit’sis and Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw began observing two Marine Harvest salmon farms on Swanson and Midsummer Islands in their traditional Broughton Archipelago territories. Their actions sound alarms about:
• the collapse of the west coast wild salmon population
• governments’ inaction on the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. They have never given their consent for these farms to operate in their territories. They are calling on governments not to renew Marine Harvest’s licenses.

Donations:
• Swanson Observers: https://www.gofundme.com/maya-xalaxan-sawinakola\
• Cleansing Our Waters: https://donorbox.org/fish-farm-occupation-fund-1
• c/o Alexandra Morton: www.gofundme.com/last-stand-for-wild-salmon

Petition:
“Remove Open Net Fish Farms From Our Waters” You Lead Now Petition.

TAKE ACTION !!

Call on Marine Harvest and governments to drop Marine Harvest’s application for injunction against the observers.

Call on provincial and federal governments to NOT renew Marine Harvest’s licenses on the contested farms.  Sample letter

Do not buy farmed Atlantic salmon.

Who to contact:
• Hon. John Horgan: premier@gov.bc.ca (250) 387-1715
• Hon. Lana Popham,AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca (250) 479-4154
• Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, Oceans, Fisheries & Coast Guard: dominicleblanc@parl.gc.ca (613) 992-1020
• Ian Roberts, Marine Harvest: communication@marineharvest.com (250) 850-3276

On-going Information:
• Midsummer Island Observers: www.cleansingourwaters.com; www.facebook.com/fishfarmsgetout/
• Swanson Island Observers: www.facebook.com/kwakwabalas
• Alexandra Morton: www.facebook.com/alexandramorton.wildsalmon/
• Comox Valley Supports Cleansing Our Waters: www.facebook.com/groups/512585169103558/
• Comox Valley Council of Canadians: www.facebook.com/ComoxValleyCouncilofCanadians/