The nations of the Dzawada’enuxw have been uniting and travelling down the coast of Vancouver Island locking arms with other nations in their quest to remove salmon farms from their traditional waters, sometimes called the Broughton Archipelago.
They have said “No” for almost 30 years to the salmon farms using their territories. But somehow, Canada, BC and the Norwegian/Japanese salmon farmers decided to ignore them. So today, one third of the BC salmon farming industry has made themselves at home in Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw territory.
This industry is disrupting the web of life throughout this coast, entrapping wild fish, disrupting migration patterns that fed hundreds of species and smothering the seafloor, altering the chemical composition of the water with industrial feedlot effluent, releasing billions of lice, viruses and bacteria daily. The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, a people with a 13,000-year relationship with this place, view this as yet another form of genocide.
Alexandra’s blog post August 27, 2016
I have now been on the RV Martin Sheen for 39 days. We have looked closely at salmon farms from Vancouver to Port Hardy. I brought the boat to the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, in Kingcome Inlet, as they have fought this industry for nearly 30 years. They have said “No” from the beginning and yet 1/3 of the BC salmon farming industry is using their territory to grow Atlantic salmon.
The Kingcome herring have collapsed despite 30 years of protection from fishing, and the wild salmon are a fraction of what they used to be. This is highly predictable; this is what happens everywhere there are salmon farms placed among wild salmon and sea trout. This is why I cannot understand how the Government of Canada could possibly have given the industry long-term licences on Canada Day, July 1, 2016.
The Minister of Fisheries, Dominic LeBlanc, was given the mandate to use ‘science’ to protect Canada’s infinitely valuable wild fisheries and yet he went ahead and gave Mitsubishi and the Norwegians, long-term access to pollute the rich waters of BC with sea lice and viruses. These are problems that the industry has not solved anywhere in the world. How can Canada do this? What hold does this industry have on them?
The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw have boarded three salmon farms in their territory in the last two weeks [written on August 27]. Each time more people joined, and most recently many chiefs from several sister nations – Namgis, Mamalilikulla and Danaxdaxw – joined them.
On August 23, they boarded the Marine Harvest Midsummer farm in their territory and I was asked to examine the farm salmon so I lowered a Go Pro camera into the pens on a pole. (See the video at youtube.com by searching for Hard Evidence Twyla Roscovitch.)
Industry and DFO have tried to tell us that farm salmon don’t eat wild fish. Well, that is simply not true! Gotcha red-handed! *As DFO is boarding fishing boats – 17 officers with guns on a single boat – there is no response to wild fish entrapped in a Norwegian salmon farm, with farm salmon feeding on them.
We need to make sure government knows that they have made a huge mistake. How can the government of Canada state that respecting First Nations is their sacred obligation and give foreign salmon farming companies permission to pollute the territory of nations who have said “No?”
My deepest thanks to the Sea Shepherd captain and crew, for this voyage into the dark side of salmon farming.