First Nations blockade Clayoquot Sound salmon farm
This is a media release from UBCIC.
Members of Ahousaht First Nations are currently blockading the attempts of Cermaq to install a new open-net salmon farm at Yaakswiis, north of Tofino BC.
On Wednesday Ahousaht members took boats out to the site and prevented Cermaq from anchoring the controversial new farm, which was assembled off-site and towed to Yaakswiis.
“Wild salmon are in decline everywhere salmon feedlots are in operation around the world. We will stop any future activity at this location”, said Tom Paul, an Ahousaht member. “We will stay out there until we are moved—we will be arrested if need be” he added.
The Ahousaht Fish Farm Committee strongly opposed any fish farms at the Yaakswiis location, due to concerns about proximity to rich seafood resources such as clam beds and wild salmon rivers.
Cermaq is a Norwegian-based corporation recently acquired by Mitsubishi. They currently hold 17 salmon farm tenures in Clayoquot Sound, which was the site of major logging confrontations in 1993.
Cermaq applied in 2014 for two new tenures in Ahousaht First Nations territories. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans approved one application in late July this year, and one was refused.
The salmon farming industry is poised to increase four-fold on the BC coast by 2030. These new applications are the first round of this major expansion.