A group of First Nations people, led by hereditary Chief Ernest Alexander Alfred, has peacefully occupied a salmon farm.
Located 17km east of Alert Bay, near Swanson Island, the farm is owned by the Norway-based company Marine Harvest.
The protesters state they will remain on the farm until their Chiefs are satisfied that the Province of British Columbia has cancelled that farm’s Licence of Occupation and forced it to leave their territory.
Along with the occupation of the farm, Ernest Alfred also shot footage of the salmon themselves. The results showcase the widespread disease and deformity present in the fish pens.
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Posted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Sunday, August 27, 2017
Occupation Follows Political Roundtable
The occupation hasn’t arisen out of the blue. In fact, in April, Ernest Alfred and other Hereditary Chiefs invited political candidates to the Namgis Big House in Alert Bay.
There, the candidates were asked to state their position on removing salmon farms to protect wild fish.
Both the Green Party and the NDP candidates stated they would work to remove salmon farms from the territories of First Nations who do not want salmon farms operating in their waters.
Group Committed to Peaceful Action
The group says that they are committed to peaceful action and that no damage will be done to the farm. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society research vessel, the Martin Sheen, is on site to provide support.
Chief Ernest Alexander Alfred said that he stands in solidarity with his neighbours, the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, in Kingcome Inlet, whose territory covers the Broughton Archipelago.
The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw have opposed salmon farms for over 30 years, served the industry with multiple eviction notices and were sued by Marine Harvest for boarding a nearby farm last August, but those charges have since been dropped.