Time is up for open-pen fish farms in Xwe’malhkwu (Homalco) First Nation territory

Removal of open-pen fish farms is good for wild salmon and long overdue

Statement from Chief Darren Blaney

For Immediate Release- [Xwe’malhkwu Territory] December 17, 2020

Time is up for open-pen fish farms in Xwe’malhkwu (Homalco) First Nation territory
Removal of open-pen fish farms is good for wild salmon and long overdue

Statement from Chief Darren Blaney

As Xwe’malhkwu people we hold a deep responsibility to protect wild salmon. Our relationship with wild salmon precedes the creation of Canada and its fisheries department.

I have personally witnessed the decline of wild salmon since the introduction of open-pen fish farms in Homalco territory. Homalco has stood united with our neighbouring First Nations and allies in opposing these fish farms. After almost a decade of dragging their feet on the Cohen commission I truly feared DFO would be consulting until the end of wild salmon.

With the recent catastrophic slide in Bute Inlet and the anticipated impacts on spawning beds and habitat, wild salmon in our territory need all the help they can get.

The Homalco Nation welcomes Fisheries Minster Bernadette Jordan’s announcement that all open-pen fish farming in the Discovery Islands is being phased out by June 30, 2022.

Now the salmon have a chance, and we have work to do.

It will take decades to reverse the harm done and restore and enhance wild salmon to their pre-fish farm numbers. This is work that Homalco is anxious to do and we look forward to meeting with Canada very soon to get started.

Media interviews – Chief Darren Blaney 250-203-2566