Historic Agreement Curtails Salmon Farming in the Broughton Archipelago
Government-to-government talks produce an agreement to remove ten farms from the Broughton
VANCOUVER: Living Oceans congratulates the First Nations of the Broughton area on the success of their epic battle to protect the wild salmon of their territories. Today, the Nations, the Provincial Government and salmon farming companies announced a partial withdrawal of farms from the region, together with measures to limit the impact of others.
Indigenous people from Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis, 'Namgis and Mamalilikulla First Nations have been engaged in talks with the Province for over a year. Talks were established only after an unprecedented occupation of the Swanson farm and extensive media coverage.
"We are indebted to the Nations for their steadfast refusal to accept the decimation of local fish stocks," said Karen Wristen, Executive Director of Living Oceans Society. "We sincerely hope that other First Nations concerened with the impact of salmon farms in their territories will be able to establish talks without having to resort to occupation of local farms."
The agreement will see 10 farms removed by 2022, with a further 7 the following year unless First Nations and the federal government come to an agreement on licensing.
Attention now turns to the Discovery Islands area south of the Broughton, where migrating salmon must pass through a bottleneck dubbed the "Wild Salmon Narrows", where several more farms are located. This is the area that Justice Cohen focused on in his inquiry into the disappearance of Fraser sockeye, recommending that farms be removed by 2020 unless it could be shown that they have 'no more than minimal' impact on wild salmon.
"It has become increasingly clear that salmon farms are having a major impact on wild salmon throughout the province," said Wristen. "With salmon lice now showing resistance to the only drug available to treat them, we can expect impacts to increase. Removing farms from wild salmon habitat may be the only answer."
Karen Wristen 604-788-5634
The full text of the release can be found here.