Alexandra’s recent posts.
Who is stronger? BC Government or Norwegian-run fish farm companies?
Dear Premier John Horgan, and Ministers George Heyman and Lana Popham:
I am writing in regards to two matters:
- you have accepted applications to renew all fish farm tenures in Musgamagw and Namgis territories
- you have not followed up on public statements that you are reviewing bloodwater samples
As you are aware, Musgamagw and Namgis members have occupied salmon farms and the surrounding areas for over 100 days with the clear message that salmon farms must be removed from their territories. They have been saying this for 30 years and have not signed any agreements with the industry. They have no food fish and the science increasingly supports their position that salmon farms are a large factor in destruction of their fisheries.
Premier Horgan, you stated in the Big House in Alert Bay that the industry should not restock farms where the tenure is going to expire before the fish can be harvested. Minister Popham, you sent Marine Harvest a letter advising them they are not guaranteed to have tenures in the Broughton Archipelago renewed.
And yet on October 16, 2017 your government accepted applications for all the salmon farms in these territories.
Below is a screen shot in regards to Swanson Island. I would like you to explain why your website states “Status Reason - Accepted” and gives an “Effective Date.” This is particularily concerning because you have refused to set a follow-up meeting with the Nations as promised in the Big House. Marine Harvest is restocking Midsummer Island, appears to be preparing to restock Swanson and Upper Retreat and has restocked Port Elizabeth, while Cermaq is actively restocking Sir Edmund - despite your warnings to the industry.
You do not appear to have any control over this industry which is violating First Nation rights.
Minister Heyman, you have appeared in the media several times stating that your ministry is examining the samples of bloodwater taken from the farm salmon processing plant effluent pipes near Campbell River and in Tofino. As I submitted those samples to the lab, they are my samples and yet neither Tavish Campbell, myself or the lab has been contacted by your ministry. You are not actually reviewing these samples.
We well know that this is an aggressive Norwegian industry, what we don’t know is whether your government is capable of controlling them or whether you are honestly committed to reconciliation and protection of wild salmon. These developments certainly concern us.
This issue is not going to die down quietly. In just the past 22 hours, over 1.5 million people have viewed blood-water pouring into the waters of BC on the National Geographic Instagram site. There are over 3,000 comments wondering how BC could be so reckless to allow this. The wilderness tourism industry is twice as big as salmon farming and yet you show no willingness to support it.
How did piscine reovirus get into the bloodwater pipe? You have the lab implicated in this under review and we have the internal communications from this lab suggesting they have known since 2008 that piscine reovirus is causing disease in BC, while publishing science which flatly states the opposite. The Minister of Fisheries has relied on this information to exempt this virus from testing prior to farm salmon transfer into marine pens. As a result, tens of millions of infected fish have poured into the Broughton Archipelago as recently as on October 16 - the day you accepted Marine Harvest’s application to renew the licence at Port Elizabeth.
The Heiltsuk, Haida and other nations traveled south to support the Musgamagw / Namgis fight to remove salmon farms and to announce that the Heiltsuk have cancelled agreement with Marine Harvest
These are the leaders who stopped the LNG port at Lelu Island and they are offering their help in stopping the destruction of wild salmon in Musgamagw and Namgis territories. Wild salmon stocks are in far too critical critical condition for us to let up for a moment.
We are here for you and we will support you, but you have to deny Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg renewal of any farm salmon tenures in the Broughton Archipelago or you make it clear to the 100,000 people who recently marched in the streets of Vancouver demanding reconciliation with First Nations - that you are not the government who can deliver.
One culture cannot reconcile with another culture while destroying their most important food resource and disrespecting their territory. You are the landlords of the salmon farming industry, this is your decision.
And so please explain:
a.) why you have accepted applications for salmon farm tenure renewals in the Broughton Archipelago and
b.) why you say you are reviewing the bloodwater samples Tavish Campbell collected, but you have not even requested those samples.
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