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Canada's Aborigines Respond to Aquaculture Reform

CANADA - The Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council (MTTC) has announced that the preliminary results for the Coordinated Area Management Plan (CAMP) between Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) and the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) look positive.

The announcement states that preliminary studies indicate a lower level of sea lice on wild fish in the Broughton Archipelago during 2009, similar to 2008, than lice levels in the period 2003-2007.

"The MTTC wishes to clearly communicate that the 2008 and 2009 levels of sea lice remain unacceptable as an additional risk in light of the ongoing decline of wild salmon stocks in the region and the MTTC’s reliance on the wild stocks in the exercise of our Aboriginal Rights to the food fishery," said a recent press release.

"Furthermore, the MHC/CAAR announcement fails to disclose that full implementation of the CAMP agreement depends on doubling the volume of farmed fish in both the Tribune-Fife corridor and the Lower Knight corridor in alternate years to maintain the total volume of farmed fish in the Broughton Archipelago.

"This means that in order to manage the expected increase in sea lice on a particular corridor in a given year, the farms will require an increased level of chemical treatment (SLICE), with associated impacts on the sea floor and on bottom fish, shellfish and seaweeds."

"The MTTC does not support the CAMP agreement and objects to its implementation in our traditional territories without our consent. We also object to publicity campaigns that provide inaccurate representation of the full adverse effects of the CAMP on our marine environment and our associated Aboriginal Title and Rights.

"In an effort to implement the principles of the New Relationship, the MTTC is engaged in consultations with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Aquaculture Working Group and the B.C. First Nations Fisheries Council."

the Fish Site Editor

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