First Nations demanding federal government take action on fish farming along B.C. coast

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A coalition of over 100 B.C. First Nations are ‘turning the screws’ on the federal Fisheries Minister, demanding she take action on coastal fish farms.

Coalition spokesperson Bob Chamberlin says their group is calling for immediate action, noting that under the Cohen Commission report, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has until the end of this month to prove that fish farms on B.C.’s coastal waters don’t pose more than minimal risk to Fraser River salmon stocks.

“With reports that we became aware of in the past month or two, it’s very clear that the Minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is unable to demonstrate that minimal risk,” Chamberlin says.

Because the DFO is unable to adhere to the recommendations of the Cohen Commission when it comes to salmon farms they will need to remove fish farms from the ocean.

Sea lice, disease, and pathogens have impacted fish in the Fraser and Thompson River but Chamberlin claims the DFO’s reporting is not accurate.

“We’ve seen reports now and analysis that the industry has been under-reporting sea lice for six or seven or eight years. I mean there’s nothing that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has done that proves that they’re not in a conflict of interest.”

The group says Ottawa has a Sept. 30 deadline to adhere to the recommendations.

“When you consider right now that the government has the commitment to transition the land-based closed container they made that commitment to Canadians. They have a path of reconciliation that they often speak of,” he says.

Chamberlin wouldn’t say what — if any — action the coalition may take if its demands aren’t met.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today