Sonia and I have been trying to visit the fish farms in the ‘Namgis territory since early November. The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw first nations have been publicly opposed to open net fish farms for the past 30 years. Recently, their fight has become very public.
I have been concerned about the farming of Atlantic salmon on the British Columbia coast for many years.
The central question for me is why do we even need to farm salmon? Have we forgotten the old fish stories of the wild Pacific salmon filling the creeks, streams, bays and inlets so thick “you could walk across their backs to the other side?”
The Pacific salmon is a keystone species in British Columbia. Not only is this iconic fish one of our most important renewable resources for the provincial economy but the Pacific salmon provide critical nutrients to countless species of plants and animals along our coast and deep into the heart of our Province. The wild Pacific salmon is part of our heart and soul.
I was excited to head out on vacation with my family this week. This year has been non-stop action and we have earned a brief respite before school and the fall legislative session starts up in a couple weeks.
Other than keeping my email inboxes pruned, I was not going to spend much time thinking about work. But, as we were heading out of town I heard the news that Cooke Aquaculture had a fish farm breach and thousands of Atlantic salmon were “spilled” into the Salish Sea.