Natives pledge to fight fish farms

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 June 2006, at 1:00am

VANCOUVER - A special committee of the British Columbia legislature that is examining the aquaculture industry is expected to enter troubled waters today when it begins a tour of several northern communities where fish farming is increasingly controversial. Members of four first nations have promised to greet the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture with protest banners and drummers as they step up a campaign to keep fish farms from opening on the approach waters to the Skeena River, on the Central Coast. "We are certainly going to make people aware of the substantial risk posed to the watershed by fish farms," Glen Williams, a spokesman for the Gitanyow First Nation, said yesterday. Mr. Williams said two new fish farms have been approved on the Central Coast, a permit for a third is pending and there is talk of many more to possibly follow. "We've heard a potential 10 to 17 farms have been proposed for the mouth of the Skeena and the mouth of the Nass Rivers," Mr. Williams said "Our main concerns are that [wild] smolts [young salmon] migrating out of the watershed would end up going past those fish farms, getting infested with sea lice, and the adult salmon returning would have to go by them when they return to spawn. Disease transmission is a real concern . . . we know that from science." Source: The Globe and Mail