Victoria News (May 15, 2024)
16 May
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‘Namgis First Nation re-activates DFO policy review

Today, the ‘Namgis First Nation notified DFO that they are re-activating a judicial review on DFO’s policy of not testing for piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) prior to stocking open net-pen feedlots in BC.

DFO’s reliance on the PRV policy, which refrains from testing for PRV before restocking open net-pens, is used to deny any claims that open net-pen feedlots stocked with Atlantic salmon pose harm to wild Pacific salmon. PRV causes heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in farmed Atlantic salmon, as well as a disease that results in the rupture of blood cells in infected wild Chinook salmon.

If the ‘Namgis are successful, and DFO’s policy on PRV is found unlawful again, the lawfulness of any decisions relying on it will be called into question, including the renewal of aquaculture licences, and the licences the companies need to stock fish farms.

“We don’t really want to be back in court. We’ve learned the hard way that we have to fight to protect our fish and our rights,” says Hereditary ‘Namgis Chief Don Svanvik. “Our salmon are intrinsic to our being, they’re our sustenance, a critical part of our ceremony, they’ve been part of who we are since time immemorial.”

The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner is currently investigating two DFO officials for preventing scientists from communicating their research to the public, the media, and Parliament.

Read full Victoria News article here.

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