Farmed Salmon or Wild Fish Extinction

Get Fish Farms out of the Discovery Islands

Editors note: The following article contains a number of disturbing statements for which no supporting evidence, or links, have been provided, as well as some equally disturbing statements confirmed by a quick google search.

September 30, 2020 is the last day, in this round, to contact the Federal Government to act on their promise to Get Fish Farms out of the Discovery Islands waters. The 12 million dollar, year long Cohen Commission recommended their removal 8 years ago.

Sept 26th Protest: Get fish farms out

get fish farms out
The march to MOWI Inc‘s office in Campbell River – all photos courtesy Rod Burns

Saturday, Sept 26th, an all ages protest of approximately 50 individuals gathered in Campbell River to extend the public’s awareness of the looming deadline. Honking horns and thumbs-up, from passing vehicles once again indicating support for the marchers, was constant.

Hereditary Chiefs George Quocksister and Bill Wilson related how “Salmon” were the key to forming their culture for thousands of years. Chief Wilson suggested the Salmon link, could become extinct in the next 5 years.

Tavish Campbell’s video (2017) showing bloody effluent discharged from two fish farms

DFO and science research in the past 30 years, indicate that the migration numbers of wild salmon have steadily declined to emergency crisis levels in 2020. These past 10 years commercial and recreational fishers have communicated their parallel concerns to the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and Aquaculture. Many fishers contend that the rate of wild fish collapse runs in direct relation to the expansion of Atlantic fish farms. Similarly, the high percentage of healthy wild salmon has been overtaken by diseased, deformed, stunted in size being more of the norm. This shift from healthy to unhealthy again, runs parallel to the expansion of fish farm numbers and their production of toxic chemical laden effluent.

Alexandra Morton’s video (2016) showing deformed fish at the Midsummer farm

Residents of the Discovery Islands, living here for more than 10 years, have no difficulty giving their own examples of DFO’s tougher regulations on size restrictions, hatchery vs. Wild salmon retention prohibitions and daily / in-possession limits.

These past few weeks, the numbers of photos showing bone thin Grizzly Bears, starving from lack their primary late Summer / Fall food source ie salmon has become all to common. In the coming winter months, as in the past few years, emaciated eagles will most likely be found by shoreline hikers and walkers. Their death, and that of otters, mink, sea gulls all comes back to the collapse of their food fish stocks in local waters, August – September 2020.

Recommendations 18-20, under Aquaculture – Cohen Response status update, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Seven years ago, the Steven Harper Federal government had rooms of file cabinets filled with decades with DFO – Scientists reports shredded and burned. At the same time the department was renamed Fisheries, Oceans and Aquaculture. From that point, the tide turned from supporting wild fish stocks to expanding corporate Aquaculture investments.

get fish farms out
demonstration in front of MOWI’s offices in Campbell River – all photos courtesy Rod Burns

To voice your thoughts as to the continuation of Fish Farms in the Discovery Island waters go to:

Chief Bill Wilson, at the rally commented that We might have another 5 spawning cycles to put into practice those actions which will save from extinction, all fish stocks here on the BC Coast. Without firm, direct action, the choices of fresh, frozen or canned foods will become significantly a rich mans option!

Top photo credit: Protesting in front of Cermaq Canada in Campbell River – Rod Burns photo

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