Five first nation chiefs from the North visited a fish farm in southern B.C. (Contributed photos)

Coastal First Nation leaders call for an end to fish farms

Five delegates from the North visit a fish farm on the south coast

Representatives from five coastal First Nations travelled together to a fish farm on the southern central coast last week.

Delegates and hereditary chiefs from the Heiltsuk, Haida, Gitxsan, Lax Kw’alaams and Wet’suwet’en nations visited a fish farm that was subject to an oil spill last spring to see for themselves the environmental impacts of the spill. They said they stand with other first nations trying to put a stop to the fish farm industry.

“When we went to the fish farm, I’d never seen one in my life. All of us were quiet because of the smells and what we saw, the disfigurement of the Atlantic salmon. We were all in a state of shock,” said Christine Smith-Martin from Lax Kw’alaams.

An estimated 900 to 1,000 litres of bio diesel overflowed into the water when a fuel pump was left on overnight at an Atlantic salmon aquaculture site in Echo Bay, about 70 kilometres east of Port Hardy back in March.

Chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale) of the Wet’suwet’en said it was important for him to go down.

“It is something to see the pictures and watch the videos but we needed to be there and witness it. It was one of the most spiritually draining things I’ve done,” he said.

Na’Moks is also concerned about the impact fish farms could have on wild stock, especially since one farm in Washington State collapsed in August, allowing thousands of Atlantic salmon to escape into the Pacific Ocean.

READ MORE: B.C. fish farm protest to continue amid court action

“Coastal nations survive on the seafood and because of foreign companies they can’t access their own food course,” he added.

“We on the North Coast and in the Interior fought so hard to have a ban on fish farms. That is why we don’t have these problems in our waters on the North Coast. Now we need to stand together and shut down these fish farms in the south and let people know this is only a corporate business,” he said.

Smith-Martin said that they need to be proactive to protect the salmon along the coast.

“We need to support each other as nations because that’s where our strength comes from,” she said.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Boat sinks while moored at Rushbrook floats

Port Edward Harbour Authority will lift the boat before destroying it

PRMSA wins association of the year honours

The Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association was honoured in Kamploops on Oct. 20

Web Poll: Are you pleased with the 2018 election results?

Prince Rupert elected two new councillors and four incumbents, and Port Edward has a new mayor

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

VIDEO: Horde of zombies meet at courthouse

Treena Decker organized the 2018 zombie walk through Prince Rupert on Oct. 20

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

Most Read