VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party spokesperson for agriculture, says that the government’s willingness to engage in new ways with First Nations and other stakeholders is a welcome change. However, Olsen raised concerns that B.C. still lacks a provincial strategy to protect wild salmon.
“The government should be commended for using new approaches to bring Indigenous people and stakeholders together to address the risks to wild salmon,” said Olsen.
“I am glad that the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations finally have a path towards the closure of the fish farms in their territories.
“There are approximately 50 active fish farms across B.C. Wild salmon are a migratory species that swim thousands of kilometres through numerous territories. We need a province-wide approach that addresses the risks and harms to wild salmon throughout the province.
“My nation, the Tsartlip First Nation, doesn’t have any fish farms in its territory, but the salmon we have traditionally harvested migrate past dozens. We rely on these fish, but have stopped fishing because there are so few salmon.
“The only way the province is going to assure the cultural, social and economic importance of wild salmon to Indigenous communities are respected is by implementing a comprehensive approach. In addition to fish farms, this species is also at risk from habitat and ecosystem degradation, climate change and poor management. That is why I called for a Wild Salmon Secretariat that can ensure all risks to wild salmon are being mitigated in a deliberate, coordinated effort across government. The Wild Salmon Advisory Council delivered a fulsome set of recommendations to government this Fall. I encourage the government to adopt these recommendations and fund initiatives that will ensure the survival of this foundational B.C. species.”
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