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First Nation Frustration at Government Stance on Lice

BRITISH COLUMBIA - A meeting between First Nations chief Bob Chamberline and Agriculture Minister Pat Bell for action on sea lice, has deepened concerns about sea lice infestation on British Columbia's coast.

Chief Bob Chamberline says the parasite from fish farms is threatening wild salmon stocks in Broughton Archipelago, say reports in the Canadian Press. He wants to see greater government commitment to solving the problems and the temporary closure of some farms during the migration period of juvenile wild salmon to the ocean. This will start in a few weeks and these fish are at risk because the migration routes pass farms infected with lice. Chief Chamberline would also like to see half a dozen infected farms on the central coast closed down.

However, Minister Bell says the meeting was not aimed at a resolution. It was a broader discussion on the Liberal government's long-promised aquaculture plan.

Biologists says that if the BC government won't order the farms fallowed, the tiny wild salmon may need to be ferried past the infected farms with fishing boats.

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Ellen Hardy

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