The First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance is calling on the federal government to stop expansion of fish farming and include First Nations in its efforts to protect wild salmon.
\"Open-net pen farming threatens the health of wild salmon stocks,\" chairman Bob Chamberlin said, \"and many farms were established without adequately consulting First Nations.\"
“We have about one third of the total [fish-farming] industry in our territories and it’s really troubling,” said Chamberlin, who is also chief councillor of the Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa\'mis First Nation.
Some were established decades ago without the chief’s consent, he said.
“That’s been the long, sad history of the industry in our territory — a complete and utter disregard for First Nation title and rights,” he said.
Chamberlin is writing to federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, requesting a meeting next month. He wants Cohen Commission principles to be implemented and the government to support a move toward land-based, closed-containment aquaculture.
The Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River sockeye, tabled in 2012, made 73 recommendations to protect wild salmon, including shutting down farms in the Discovery Islands that pose risks to wild stocks.
Source: Times Columnist // Original Article