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First Nations wary of DFO’s proposed consultation process

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Studies show that contentious fish farms in the Discovery Islands pose little risk to wild salmon, therefore they will not face immediate closure, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said Monday.

Nonetheless, a final decision on the fate of 18 open-net pen operations in the region will be delayed pending consultation with seven area First Nations about whether to renew the region’s fish farm licences, which are set to expire in December.

Talks will begin immediately with the Holmalco, Klahoose, K’omoks, Kwiakah, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations, DFO said.

Though it’s unclear if all the region’s First Nations want the farms removed from their territorial waters, many don’t have confidence in DFO’s proposed consultation process, describing it as long overdue, inadequate, or both.

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