The Canadian Press (June 19, 2024)
20 Jun
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Over 120 First Nations support ban on open-net pens in BC

The federal government promised in 2019 to phase out open-net pen salmon farms in coastal BC waters. Yesterday, they announced that salmon farms must transition to land by 2029.

“It benefits all British Columbians and so this is a very important day for wild salmon, but I think it’s a big day for reconciliation across the province,” says Bob Chamberlin, Chair – FNWSA.

In British Columbia, First Nations have an uncontestable Aboriginal right to fish. Wild Pacific salmon are crucial for the exercise of that right, food security and the preservation of Indigenous tradition and culture. The ban to remove open-net pen salmon farms from coastal BC waters to protect wild Pacific salmon is supported by over 120 First Nations across the province.

Former Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, who attended Wednesday’s news conference in Vancouver with Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, said salmon farming can amplify and release parasites and alien diseases into BC waters infecting wild Pacific salmon on their migration routes.

“This transition is an opportunity to build sustainable economic alternatives with affected communities and to support our government’s critical work and rebuilding vital salmon stocks and fisheries throughout,” says Joyce Murray, former Fisheries Minister.

Read full Canadian Press article here.