A group of First Nations leaders and environmentalists arrived in Victoria Saturday, ending a journey from Campbell River to demand the removal of fish farms from BC waters.
Leaders of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nations and anti-aquaculture activists sailed into the Inner Harbour on board a vessel loaned by the Sea Shepherd Society. A few weeks ago, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw hereditary chiefs boarded a fish farm near the Burdwood Islands owned by Cermaq/Mistsubishi to deliver a 72-hour ‘eviction notice’ to the company, arguing the facility threatens wild salmon.
They want the federal government to close the fish farms operating on their traditional territory, and delivered a letter asking for support at the BC Legislature.
“We lost 40 per cent of our salmon to sea lice, sea lice was never a problem in our territory before until fish farms started to show up, so when you put two and two together it means fish farms [are responsible] and that is why we need for them to get out of our territory,” said Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw chief Willie Moon.
“This is not a one time event, this is going to go on until the farms are out,” said biologist Alexandra Morton. “Their salmon are dying, their herring are dying. I’m a biologist. I’ve been studying that for 30 years and they are right.”
Saturday’s rally in Victoria saw hundreds of demonstrators come out in support.