Letter: Cancel Fish Farm licenses

Tuesday, February 27 2018

To Doug Routley, MLA,

I am taking this opportunity to write to you and your colleagues urging you to pressure John Horgan and the NDP government to cancel fish farm licences coming up for renewal in instances where the fish farms are using open pens in tidal waters. 

As I am sure you are aware, the practice of farming Atlantic salmon in open pens on a wild salmon migratory route is a very dangerous practice given the problems with sea lice and harmful viruses that open pen fish farms pose to our wild salmon fishery. 

I am old enough to remember when thousands of people were employed in the wild salmon fishery on this coast. Sadly that is no longer the case, due to some extent to ill conceived DFO policy and enforcement. But the threat these foreign owned open pen Atlantic salmon farms located on the wild salmon migratory routes has been scientifically proven to be extremely detrimental to our wild salmon fishery. 

First nation people, who have lived here for thousands of year, and who have always depended upon the wild salmon for their way of life, are suffering from the presence of these salmon farms along the coast. 

Please urge John Horgan and the NDP government to not renew the licences of these salmon farms along our coast unless they agree to relocate on land. Take a stand on this issue, Doug and urge your government caucus to insist that salmon farms pose no more threats to our wild salmon. In doing so, you will have respected the rights of indigenous peoples along our coast and done a great service in saving our wild salmon.

Sincerely,

~ Burtt Fidler

Gabriola Island