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Cermaq looks to Nova Scotia to double Canada capacity

From west coast salmon activists, to our east coast activist friends.  We're learning that CERMAQ is planning to open up fish farms on the east coast. 

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While we recognize that the ecology is different on the east coast, we want to be certain that our allies know that this industry is being contested here in BC, and all over the world.  

  • CERMAQ is one of 2 large fish farm operators in BC.  With the support of DFO, they have behaved like the tobacco industry in the face of growing evidence that the farms affect wild Pacific salmon stocks and other wild species.  They have shut down, gagged or discredited researchers; taken protesters and community researchers to court; hired sinister looking security to keep researchers from taking samples near the farms; spent millions promoting their own research, etc.  
  •  Wild salmon stocks have deteriorated dramatically since the farms were introduced.  First Nations communities that have relied on their food catch have not had enough for people to eat over these last couple of winters.   Farms are not easily located on open water - they need some protection - and consequently are in bays and channels along the path of the large migration routes of young salmon as they head out to the ocean. 
  • After a 18 months of occupations and protests, in December the BC government announced an agreement with the companies to phase out or re-negotiate 17 farms that are on the traditional territories of several Vancouver Island first nations by 2023.  
  • After 18 months of protests, and a 6 month occupation of a farm on their traditional territory, the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation has filed an injunction against all fish farm operations.

  •  Washington State banned open net fish farms, after a break in a pen and the release of a large number of fish into the Salish Sea.    The BC Union of Municipalities has called for an end to the open net fish farm industry.

  • We wonder whether CERMAQ's interest in the east coast has any connection with the federal government's recent approval of the production of GMO salmon in Canada (at the AquaBounty on-land factory in Rollo Bay, PEI).      

In solidarity,

- Alice de Wolff

Comox Valley Chapter


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