Sunday, July 13, 2014


Joining Forces for Fish

Morton, Crey and others to attend Peace Arch protest rally for wild salmon July 19

Submitted by Eddie Gardner, Chilliwack


anada Fails to Protect Wild Salmon From Industrial Salmon Farms. We call on the North American Free Trade Agreement Body (NAFTA) to investigate this failure before it is too late!

“Protect Wild Salmon” Peaceful Rally at Peace Arch Border Crossing
Saturday, July 19, 2014 (11:00 am – 3:00 pm )

Keynote Speakers include:

• Joanne Charles, Semiahmoo First Nation Councillor
• Zeke Grader, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association
• Ernie Crey, Cheam First Nation Fisheries Portfolio
• Craig Orr, Watershed Watch Salmon Society
• Alexandra Morton, Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society
• Dr. Claudette Bethune, Clinical Scientist
• Chief Judy Wilson, Neskonlith First Nation and UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer
• Chief Michelle Lee Edwards, Cayoose Creek Band (Sekw’el’was)

BC Salmon farms are 98% owned by Norwegian companies raising Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and remain plagued with diseases from mutating viruses and parasites that proliferate and can be passed onto wild salmon.  Ernie Crey is of the opinion that the Government of Canada dangerously increased the threats to wild salmon survival by approving a 41% expansion plan of fish farms along the migration routes of sockeye salmon.  “Instead the Canadian Government has virtually ignored the $26 million Cohen Commission report.  Justice Cohen warned - salmon farms have the potential to do serious or irreversible harm to wild salmon, exclaimed a disappointed Craig Orr. 

“The Canadian Government has no plans to view fish farm locations in relation to inward/outward migration of wild salmon for their protection, and this irresponsible,” stated Bob Chamberlin of UBCIC. 

Industrial feedlots never shovel their manure and use chemicals and antibiotics to protect farmed fish, which pollute the environment and threaten human health.  

“The Canadian Government has, to date, refused to remove the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s conflict of interest as it continues with a mandate to promote, support and enable salmon farm expansion, and, at the same time, regulates this industry.  This is unacceptable,” stated Chief Judy Wilson. 

Recently the Canadian Government removed a major part of the Fisheries Act to allow the release of delousing drugs directly into the water that can kill wild salmon (section 56).  Astonishingly, the Canadian government is considering an Aquaculture Act to give the industry unprecedented rights in Canada’s marine waters and fish.   

Dr. Alexandra Morton leveled the following sharp criticism at the Government of Canada, “The sheer recklessness of allowing Atlantic salmon on the Fraser salmon migration route is unforgivable and has to stop if we expect wild salmon to deal with everything else we are throwing at them!”   Alex added “We will only stop this when everyone stands up  … I think this is happening!” 

The First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, a coalition of 80 First Nations, witnessed the unacceptable, devastating impact fish farms have on wild salmon and will look at government’s “duty to consult” before any fish farms are sited on wild salmon migration routes.  Health experts around the world point to the dangers of farmed salmon consumption due to relatively high levels of contaminants such as PCBs, dioxins, pesticides, and flame-retardants, which are proven to impair cognitive function and are known carcinogens.

“Salmon are carnivores and farms have been criticized globally for using unsustainable fishery resources,” observed Dr. Claudette Bethune.  Although there is room for some forms of aquaculture, scientists and experts conclude that a feasible and sustainable solution lies in moving ocean fish farms onto land in containment, farming herbivore fish, and growing the entire food chain. 

“Stakeholders on both sides of the border urge NAFTA to follow through with the investigation.  Wild salmon don’t recognize borders, and therefore both countries need to work together to protect wild salmon, its habitat and the health of their citizens,” asserted Zeke Grader. 

“Music and cultural messages are a powerful way to inspire people to stand up and speak for wild salmon.”  said Holly Arntzen of Artists Response Team, who will also sing at the rally.



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