Today I had the distinct honour of standing with the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nation in demanding the removal of open net fish farms from their traditional territories. I went one step further in stating that a BC Green government would ensure that those holding permits for open net fish farming along the migratory route of wild sockeye salmon would be given 90 days notice that their permits would be revoked. In addition, and unlike both the BC NDP and the BC Liberals, the BC Greens will not accept corporate donations from those involved in the open-net Atlantic Salmon farming industry,.
It’s not that the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nation and I are alone. In May 2015 I introduced a petition by 108,848 people who asked the government to please not issue licenses of occupation to salmon farms trying to expand in British Columbia. I also introduced a second petition signed by more than 100 business organizations across the province who supported the individuals who signed the larger petition. The business organizations argued that they are convinced by the published scientific evidence that open net salmon farms are a threat to B.C. wild pacific salmon.
This doesn’t mean that we have to shut down salmon farming. Rather, it means that we have to start using closed containment systems that pose no threat to our wild salmon. In fact, we need look no further than the Namgis First Nation on Vancouver Island who have initiated a sustainable land-based salmon farming industry on their traditional lands.