(Kingcome Inlet, British Columbia) The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands recent approval of a new open net pen fish farm at Bennett Point in the Broughton Archipelago to Grieg Seafood’s, and also the findings of elevated mercury concentrations near open net pen salmon farms in British Columbia is testimony of societies tolerance, detachment and disregard to environmental symptoms of global ecological devastation, and catastrophe.
We are very concerned and dismayed with Gordon Campbell and the Provincial Government and the approval of this industry which has had similar adverse effects in many countries. The poor health of our Marine Resources and the risk to the health of consumers from open pen farmed salmon in British Columbia (B.C.) is again testimony of illogical calculative decisions known as adaptive management.
Approval of the Grieg Seafood application is amidst ongoing discussions and forums in British Columbia such as:
• New Relationship Agreement; “…process and institutions for shared decision making…”
• Provincial Salmon Aquaculture Committee
• Pacific Salmon Forum
• Proposed Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council (MTTC) MoU for the Broughton Archipelago.
The mandate from our members is not limited to Political, Legal, Public, Economic and Direct actions. We are prepared to and will have to increase pressure with all these strategies concurrently, and have and will be discussing our strategies with all our allies on the B.C. Coast from the Fraser River to the Skeena River and around the world. A moratorium must be imposed by the legitimate guardians and locals who live by, and are responsible for protecting our own resources if Premier Gordon Campbell does not immediately implement a moratorium.
Another process recently announced by Gordon Campbell and the Province of British Columbia, is the Great Bear Rainforest protection initiative (or “Great Bear Hug”), from the British Columbia Central Coast (CCLRMP), and also future implementation of Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) which acknowledges the “Precautionary Principle” and higher environmental standards and stewardship. Our Nation (TFN) opposes the stakeholder recommendations as our own Marine and Land Use Vision is not yet complete and also we need to have honorable Government to Government discussions. Our draft Musgamagw Tsawatainuek Marine and Land Use Vision (MTMLUV) will require greater Marine and Land protection areas then the proposed 1.6% (of our Traditional Territory) by industrial and other stakeholders of British Columbia CCLRMP.
The total area proposed including existing protected areas (3.6%) and parks in our Territory is equal to only 5.2%, which would leave 94.8% of our territory exposed to the status quo of deregulated or poorly regulated industries. This is obviously unacceptable to our Nation, whereas the stakeholder CCLRMP goal was to have approximately 33% protection areas.
Our Draft Marine and Land Use Vision incorporate thousands of years of TFN Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and indigenous values and principles which have formed the basis of indigenous laws, and laws of the land. Our rivers and waters have suffered because indigenous laws have not been respected.
Our Marine and Land Use Vision is testimony of thousands of years of coexistence with the Land and Waters that are inseparable to our way of life. If our way of life is not protected, our environment and our children will continue to suffer from these mistakes which we are witnessing globally.
We ask Canada, the Province of British Columbia and Premier Gordon Campbell to accept what we can offer as proven sustainable solutions not for economic objectives but for the best ecological integrity in the world, “bar none.”