It was a big summer for wild salmon. Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society donated their vessel, the R/V Martin Sheen, to BC biologist Alexandra Morton. Operation Virus Hunter was launched! The goal was to track farm salmon viruses and audit salmon farms along the Fraser wild salmon migration route.
Things ramped up in August when the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw chiefs (pictured above at a Vancouver rally) issued an eviction notice to all salmon farms in their territory, including Cermaq, the same Norwegian company operating in Clayoquot Sound. The Nation has been opposing salmon farms in their territory for decades. This summer Band Councillor Melissa Willie instructed by Chief Willie Moon to climb aboard a salmon farm to request a sample of the farm fish for testing. Their request was denied.
Councillor Willie was horrified when she saw dead wild salmon in the mort totes (tubs of dead farmed fish). She responded by stating “It has been emotional times here, to see our wild salmon laying dead along side these dead diseased Atlantic salmon. How can they say our wild salmon are not affected. To the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw I say it is time to get this garbage out of not just Dzawada’enuxw waters, but out of the unceded territories of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw. It is our duty to our children and future generations to protect all our food fisheries.”
Meanwhile back in Clayoquot Sound, several Ahousaht First Nations members were arrested for boarding the Dixon Bay salmon farm to prevent Cermaq from stocking it with smolts (young salmon). They will be appearing in court in Tofino on November 7th.
Momentum will be building throughout the fall. First up, an official government petition (e270—now closed) with 7,750 signatures will be presented to the House of Commons by the sponsor, Liberal MP Bernadette Jordan. Later this fall, NDP MP Fin Donnelly will present his private member’s bill to have salmon farms moved into closed containment.
Clayoquot Action supported Petition e270 this summer by printing a postcard to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to legislate the removal of salmon farms from Canada’s oceans. Tofino businesses, staff, and guides responded enthusiastically and worked as agents of change all summer, helping send over four thousand postcards to Trudeau.
MP Jordan’s petition will be dealt with in Parliament in the next 45 days. You can help wild salmon today by taking a moment to check out Clayoquot Action’s latest video and send an online letter to Prime Minister Trudeau.
Thank you for taking action!
Dan Lewis is Executive Director of Clayoquot Action.