Add Your Name: Ban Open Oceans Net Farming
Orca Whales living in BC’s Salish Sea are slowly starving to death
Orcas living in the waters of Southern BC - the Southern Resident Killer whales - are special. They have a unique way of speaking to each other, a dialect that is different from other killer whales in the region. They are special because they have made Canada their home. Yet we are allowing them to starve slowly in their once abundant home in the Salish Sea.
Southern Resident Killer Whales have lived in the Salish Sea for millennia and are now an endangered species. They are literally starving to death. Their primary food source, salmon, is unhealthy and in sharp decline. Open Ocean Net Farming is decimating salmon stocks. Sea-lice from open net fish farms are contributing to a massive decline in wild salmon stocks and are the reason Southern Resident Killer Whales do not have enough to eat.
BC First Nations, along with the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), have called for a ban on Open Ocean Net Farming. As the FNLC makes clear, “We need to end salmon farming in our open oceans now to protect both wild salmon and Indigenous ways of being from extinction,” as “salmon is central to First Nations cultures and economies in much of British Columbia.” 2020 Fish Farm Press Conference
The Trudeau government was elected with a platform that included the pledge to end Open Ocean Net Farming. Now the Trudeau government has said that they will only have a plan to end Open Ocean Net Farming by 2025! That’s five more years of declining salmon populations, highlighting the governmental denial of Indigenous rights and will inevitably increase starvation for the Southern Resident Killer Whales.
We stand with the First Nations Leadership Council in the call to ban Open Ocean Net farming
There are sustainable alternatives. “We need a collaborative, cooperative transition to land-based containment with First Nations leading in order to conserve and protect the species vital to our communities,” says Chief Dalton Silver, Sumas First Nation and Union of BC Indian Chiefs Fisheries Representative 2020 Fish Farm Press Conference
The government has refused to honour its pledge and move forward to stop the practice. As leader of the Green Party of Canada, I will stand with First Nations and other stakeholders and ban Open Ocean Net Farming so that salmon populations can return to health and Southern Resident Killer Whales have the clean food they need to build up their strength and numbers. You can help us by lifting your voice in support of a ban.
The Herring Roe fishery must also stop
Without the last schools of herring, there is no food for salmon. Orcas need salmon; salmon need herring; herring need to protected from wasteful industrial over fishing by boats that are largely corporate-owned. Respectfully permit the tiny Aboriginal roe fishery, but dismantle the wasteful industrial herring roe fishery.