FISH FARMS: 200 attend solidarity gathering . . .

FISH FARMS: 200 attend solidarity gathering . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:03 pm

200 people attend Comox Valley chapter solidarity gathering vs fish farms

[ https://canadians.org/blog/200-people-a ... fish-farms ]

November 17, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter activist Alice de Wolff tells us:

The science surrounding Atlantic salmon farming and First Nations' opposition to these farms on their territories in the Broughton Archipelago came together last night at a powerful event in Courtenay. Two hundred people attended a solidarity evening between the people of the Comox Valley and the salmon defenders of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, 'Namgis, Mamalilikala and Lawit'sis First Nations.

The event took place two days after a judge in Vancouver ordered the defenders to take down a camp they had been occupying since August on a Marine Harvest farm on Midsummer Island. While it is a disappointing moment in their struggle to have the farms removed, it made it possible for two of the key activists, Molina Dawson and Karissa Glendale, to attend the event in person. Their presence brought a very personal sense of immediacy to the gathering. They took the opportunity to let their supporters know that they are not going to stop opposing the farms in their territory.

The Kumugwe Dancers opened the evening. They shared traditional dances that honoured the salmon, offered healing and called to the powerful spirit of the ocean.

The documentary film, "Salmon Confidential", followed. It features biologist Alexandra Morton and her struggle to help identify what is causing dramatic declines in wild salmon populations. She and others have been concerned for many years about the extent to which parasites, viruses and heart disease are present in Atlantic farmed salmon and their impact on B.C.'s wild fish. The film investigates disputes between scientists, and the apparent muzzling of any who are critical of the industry. It includes interviews with BC's Animal Health Centre's fish pathologist Gary Marty, whose findings and connection with the industry have recently come under scrutiny by the new provincial government.

The film was made and narrated by Twyla Roskovich. The gathering took a moment to honour her work and to encourage donations to the scholarship that has been established in her name.

Activist Sally Gellard delivered a statement of solidarity on behalf of Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. Sally travelled to the Midsummer Island camp two weeks ago, along with six other Council of Canadians supporters, and delivered the same message then. She emphasized that one of the key acts of reconciliation our governments could take is implementing the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Molina Dawson and Karissa Glendale then spoke about their experience of being served with an eviction notice and appearing in front of the judge in Vancouver. Their quiet clarity and unwavering dedication to the removal of farms from their territories brought the audience to it's feet in a long standing ovation.

Carla Voyageur also spoke. She is a central coordinator of the campaign, and is Molina's mother. She reminded the audience about the need to pressure both levels of government to come to the table to meet their demand that licences are not renewed. She encouraged all supporters to not purchase farmed Atlantic salmon. And she brought the gathering back to a key reason that pushed her community into action - her relatives and others on the coast do not have enough food fish for this winter and she is very concerned about how people are going to survive.

The evening was hosted by the Comox Valley Council of Canadians. It raised funds for the Twyla Roskovich Scholarship held by the Gulf Island Film and Television School, and the on-going work of the salmon defenders.


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[ https://canadians.org/tags/chapters ]

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Re: FISH FARMS: 200 attend solidarity gathering . . .

Postby Oscar » Fri May 04, 2018 1:44 pm

Council of Canadians Pacific region chapters call on MLAs to respect UNDRIP, reject the renewal of fish farm tenures

[ https://canadians.org/blog/council-cana ... -fish-farm ]

May 4, 2018 - 8:56 am

(PHOTO: A still from the Comox Valley chapter video Link Arms With Us [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clSAJUl-jLU ]. Video footage by Clayoquot Action and Sea Wolf Adventures.)

The provincial government of BC premier John Horgan will soon be making a crucial decision about fish farm tenures.

Global News has reported, "Twenty of B.C.’s 115 fish farms’ tenure expire this June, many of them in First Nations territory, which [biologist and long-time fish farm opponent Alexandra] Morton said presents Premier John Horgan with a big decision."

The British Columbia government reportedly cannot ban open-net fish farms because they are regulated and licensed by the federal government, but it can reject foreshore tenures that allow people to access fish farms from land and/or anchor the structures to land because those tenures are provincially issued.

DeSmog Canada notes, "The province is faced with the contentious problem of whether to renew 22 fish farm tenures of which 18 are in the Broughton Archipelago and opposed by six First Nations. The tenures, which include Marine Harvest’s Swanson Island site, are due for renewal in June..." And Global News adds, "Bob Chamberlin, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation
Chief and Vice President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs [says] the B.C. government has agreed to have an engagement process based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)."

The issue of Indigenous consent is crucial.

Last month, the Canadian Press reported, "A provincial advisory council is recommending fish farm companies be required to have agreements in place with area First Nations before the British Columbia government approves any new or replacement tenures. ...Protesters [aka wild salmon defenders] have occupied multiple fish farms in the archipelago over the past year, claiming they are operating in First Nations’ traditional territories without their consent." The B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, which seeks to have the tenures renewed, says that recommendation is "unworkable in practice".

Council of Canadians chapters in the Pacific region are currently calling on their Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to reject tenure renewals.

Comox Valley chapter activist Alice de Wolff has produced an 'Opposition to renewal of Fish Farm licenses: MLA Meetings Background Package' for chapter activists and allies that calls on the provincial government not to renew the fish farm tenures in the Broughton Archipelago when they expire on June 20. [ https://canadians.org/sites/default/fil ... e-0518.pdf ]

She writes, "This is a crucial month. We need to keep the pressure on BC MLAs to respect UNDRIP by not renewing the leases contested by First Nations. In May MLAs are most likely to be in their ridings on Fridays, or during the week of the 20th –25th."

If you live in British Columbia, please contact your MLA on this issue. Key MLAs to reach would include Lana Popham, the Minister of Agriculture [ https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/me ... opham-Lana ], and Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forest, Land and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development [ https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/me ... ldson-Doug ], who is responsible for aquaculture tenures.

The Council of Canadians first began raising concerns about farmed salmon in March 2013. Among our many activities over the years: In July 2016, the Chilliwack chapter was in Vancouver to greet the Sea Shepherd vessel the Martin Sheen at the launch of its 'Operation Virus Hunter' campaign against farmed salmon [ https://canadians.org/blog/chilliwack-c ... med-salmon ]. And in November 2017, the Comox Valley chapter traveled to Midsummer Island to express this message of solidarity with the wild salmon defenders of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, 'Namgis, Mamalilikala and Lawit'sis First Nations. [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clSAJUl-jLU ]

Open-pen fish farms are the aquatic version of factory farming, are rampant with diseases and sea lice, pose a threat to the health of wild salmon and herring stocks, in turn endanger an important food source for bears and whales, and both violate Indigenous rights and threaten their traditional way of life.

PDF Download: Opposition to renewal of Fish Farm licenses: MLA Meetings Background Package (May 2018):
[ https://canadians.org/sites/default/fil ... e-0518.pdf ]



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