Wild Salmon Are a Gift: Save Them. Occupy Vancouver in Solidarity with Wild Salmon Actions Across BC
Occupy Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver, December 14, 2011 — Salmon advocates across British Columbia are taking action to demand protection of wild salmon, coinciding with the re-start of Cohen Commission and hearings on the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) virus.
“Around the world, our oceans are threatened because of irresponsible practices of industry and government, solely for the motivation of profit for a few foreign owned companies,” states Tria Donaldson, Pacific Coast Campaigner, Wilderness Committee.
“Now in BC, the discovery of the deadly ISA virus associated with industrial open-net fish farming is forcing us to examine our priorities as a nation. Are we going to choose corporate interests, or are we going to take immediate steps to protect pacific wild salmon and our oceans?”
Salmon advocates say that ISA is to salmon what mad cow disease is to cows. The recent discovery in sockeye species has been called and “ecological crisis” by scientists in Washington state.
In 2004, a post-graduate researcher Molly Kibenge, co-authored a report with DFO that found the ISA virus in 100% of Fraser sockeye (Cultus) tested. While, the DFO never revealed this critical information to the Cohen Inquiry, Kibenge’s husband, also an ISAv researcher, defied DFO and delivered the work to the Cohen Commission, who are investigating the collapse of the Fraser River Sockeye.
Occupy Vancouver stands in solidarity with wild salmon actions which have happened in Nanaimo, Tofino, Lillooet and Victoria. Demonstrations move to the Fraser Valley on December 15, when protesters will gather at MP Mark Strahl’s, Chilliwack office at 7388 Vedder Road.
The Vancouver demonstrations will follow, beginning on December 15th.
Thursday Dec 15th 8am – 5pm, DFO Building, 401 Burrard Street
Thursday Dec 15th 8pm, Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver Convention Center
Friday Dec 16th 8am -5pm, DFO Building, 401 Burrard Street
Monday Dec 19th 8am – 5pm, DFO Building, 401 Burrard Street
The debate regarding the impact of industrial, foreign-owned fish farming in BC has spanned almost 20 years and has touched issues of science and the balance of our ecosystem, Indigenous rights, constitutional jurisdictional issues and accusations of conflict of interest in the DFO. Pacific wild salmon play a vital role in British Columbia’s ocean and river habitats, including sustenance for over 200 native species that rely on wild salmon as part of their diets.
Wild salmon stakeholders, including the Stó:lō Nation, Stó:lō Tribal Council, Research and Resource Management, Salmon Talks Lillooet, the Wilderness Committee, Friends of Clayquot Sound, Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture, and Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, believe wild salmon are a critical element for the survival our west coast aquatic ecosystem and call for the removal of open-net fish farms from west coast waters.
If you would like more information or would like to schedule an interview, please contact:
J Peachy, Wild Salmon Workgroup, Occupy Vancouver, 604 760 5957