It's time to defend our wild salmon from disease infested open-net fish farms

DC "Dennis" Reid photo

"Harvesting BC Wild Salmon has supported my family four generations, and counting. Disease and parasites from net-pens are destroying my livelihood and my way of life."

Ryan McEachern4th Generation Salmon Gillnet Fisherman
Rodney Clapton photo

"BC’s recreational fishing community is calling on Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to get salmon farms out of our waters and away from BC’s wild salmon. No more excuses. Let’s see some action."

Rodney Clapton, President, BC Federation of Drift Fishers
Chief Robert "Bob" Chamberlin

"Here in British Columbia, the vast majority of First Nations are very clear in their opposition to the operation of open net cage fish farms."

Chief Robert Chamberlin, Elected Chief Councillor, Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation, and Chair, First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance
Cailyn Siider

"Wild salmon are the lifeblood of this coast. To lose them would be to not only lose our livelihoods, but our way of life."

Cailyn Siider, 5th-generation Independent Commercial Fisherman
Shirley Ackland photo

"I believe the future of salmon farming is land-based. That will allow for jobs in the wild salmon economy to flourish and provide better jobs on land as well."

Shirley Ackland, Mayor, Port McNeill
Dr. Larry Dill photo

"The evidence of risk to wild salmon is sufficient that the precautionary principle should be invoked, and governments should move from open net pens to land."

Dr. Larry Dill, Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University
Tłalita’las, Karissa Glendale photo

"Wild salmon are the backbone to this coast and it’s who we are as First Nations people, it’s our duty to step up and protect what our ancestors fought to keep for us for the future generations."

Tłalita’las, Karissa Glendale, Namgis First Nation
Willie Mitchel photo

"Growing up in the Broughton Archipelago, the epicentre of salmon farms, I’ve watched the industry grow and the impacts it’s made to our marine ecosystems. Moving this industry to land will save jobs while keeping what makes BC, well BC."

Willie Mitchell, President/Partner, Tofino Resort & Marina
Ogwilaogwa Molina Dawson photo

"I think we all need to consider the large and small ways we can protect wild salmon. They are integral to this coast and its people."

Ogwilaogwa Molina Dawson, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw First Nation
Councillor Rob Southcott photo

"I take a dim view of a mostly foreign-owned industry that economically disadvantages local business. BC's wild fishing industry used to be much stronger in this province."

Councillor Rob Southcott, City of Powell River
Dr. Claudette Bethune photo

"The use of unrefined feeds that often contain levels of contaminants such as PCBs and other pesticides result in farmed salmon accumulating up to 10-times these toxins from feed when compared to farmed land animals."

Dr. Claudette Bethune, PhD., Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism
Dennis Buchanan photo

"The argument that we’ll lose jobs by switching to land based salmon farming is fallacious. There will be more—and better paid—jobs on land."

Councillor Dennis Buchanan, Village of Alert Bay
DC "Dennis" Reid photo
Ryan McEachern
Rodney Clapton photo
Rodney Clapton
Chief Robert "Bob" Chamberlin
Chief Robert Chamberlin
Cailyn Siider
Cailyn Siider
Shirley Ackland photo
Mayor Shirley Ackland
Dr. Larry Dill photo
Dr. Larry Dill
Tłalita’las, Karissa Glendale photo
Tłalita’las, Karissa Glendale
Willie Mitchel photo
Willie Mitchell
Ogwilaogwa Molina Dawson photo
Ogwilaogwa Molina Dawson
Councillor Rob Southcott photo
Councillor Rob Southcott
Dr. Claudette Bethune photo
Dr. Claudette Bethune
Dennis Buchanan photo
Councillor Dennis Buchanan

A Declaration in Defence of our Wild Salmon

Our wild salmon are a public treasure.

Wild Pacific salmon are elemental to who we are as First Nations and British Columbians. They have nourished the communities, economies, and cultures of this place for thousands of years. Salmon feed our wildlife and fertilize our forests, provide food security in an uncertain world, support thousands of jobs, bring us together around fishing and feasts, and teach us about the cycle of life and our connection to the natural world.

Our wild salmon face a challenging future, yet their stewardship is a sacred trust, and we will not let them slip away.

Fish farms are spreading pollution and disease. 

Our political leaders have allowed salmon farming companies to place millions of Atlantic salmon in open net-pens on the coastal migration routes of our wild Pacific salmon. The science is clear: these farms host parasites and viruses, amplify these harmful contagions and spread them to our wild fish, compounding the other threats our salmon face. Net-pens send plumes of waste, antibiotics, pathogens, and anti-lice neurotoxins into our coastal waters. These farms, their foreign salmon, and their contaminants have no place on our coast.

We stand for wild salmon. Will you stand with us?

Wild salmon are resilient. They can survive the many other perils they face if we give them a fighting chance. Canada has an opportunity to be a world leader in wild fish restoration, truly sustainable aquaculture, and First Nations reconciliation. We therefore call on the Governments of British Columbia and Canada to defend and restore wild Pacific salmon by taking the following actions without delay:

  • Where First Nations do not consent to the presence of open net-pen salmon farms, honour your commitments to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by taking immediate action to remove existing farms.
  • Expand the current moratorium on new open net-pen salmon farms on BC’s north coast to cover all BC coastal waters.
  • Freeze production levels at all remaining open net-pens, and do not renew their licenses or tenures when they expire, unless the science shows earlier removal is necessary.
  • Assess the status of all BC wild salmon populations and their habitats, and implement rebuilding plans for at-risk stocks.

 

We stand united in the defence of our natural wealth. Our elected leaders must now take decisive action, so that our children’s children can grow old watching wild salmon return to our shores.

Declaration Signatories

Sign the Declaration