First Nations Sue: Wild Stock Caught in the Net04 February 2009
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA - Class-Action Law Suit to be launched by the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish against the British Columbia Government to address the impacts of salmon farms on wild salmon in their territory.
Wild salmon are being driven away from their native Canadian spawning grounds because of the large amount of hazardous fish farms blocking the way.
The B.C. government has acknowledged the risks of open-net cage salmon farming by implementing a moratorium on B.C.'s north coast. Yet they are considering allowing a major expansion of the salmon farming industry on our south coast. Applications for expansion currently in process would triple the production at some farm sites in the northern Georgia Strait.
Utilizing the Class Proceedings Act of British Columbia, the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation will seek remedies from the court requiring the defendant, the B.C. Government (represented by the B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Lands) to address the decline in wild salmon in their traditional territory.
The KAFN have asserted a constitutionally protected Aboriginal right to fish for wild salmon for food, social and ceremonial purposes within the Broughton Archipelago. The Broughton Archipelago is the area of bays, islands and mainland coast adjacent to the north east side of Vancouver Island.
Currently 29 salmon aquaculture sites are authorized by the B.C. Government to operate in the Broughton Archipelago. It is the KAFN's position that these operations have contributed to a drastic decline in salmon stocks within the Broughton.
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