APTN National News
Members of two British Columbia First Nations have occupied another fish farm on the province’s coast making it the second farm occupation within a week.
The occupiers want the farms shut down.
But not everyone thinks fish farms are unsafe.
“I think it’s very healthy. These fish farm owners and operators, their fish is cared for a lot more than our wild salmon are looked after,” said James Walkus of Kwakiutl First Nation on Vancouver Island.
Walkus said that in any population there are going to be some abnormalities like seen in a video, released online, a week ago that sparked the occupations.
“We do catch wild salmon that are deformed and all that, too, ” he said. “We caught a chum salmon and physically it looked awful and we cut it open and inside it was a big white round ball, it was sick.”
The head of the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association said the video from the Sea Sheppard, which have gone viral, do not tell the whole story.
“In any population there are some abnormal fish, animals or people. Each one of the pens on a farm could have 50 -70,000 fish,” said Jeremy Dunn, executive director of the association. “In these videos you are looking at one or two fish.
“This video was captured by going to upwards of 15 farms and compiled together to tell a story. Those fish on those farms are routinely removed.”
The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw have been against fish farms in their traditional territory for 30 years. They believe salmon farms affect wild stocks and now occupy Wicklow Point Salmon Farm, approximately 50 km east of Port Hardy.
Their protest comes just days after members of the Namgis First Nation occupied a salmon farm on nearby Swanson Island.
Both camps are vowing to stay until he government revokes the farms’ licenses.
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