January 18th, 2023
MP Barron supports First Nations’ call for improved food security and the closure of Discovery Islands open-net pen fish farms.
NANAIMO – On Tuesday, the NDP’s critic for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Lisa Marie Barron (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) is adding her voice to the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance’s call for Minister Murray and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans not to renew Discovery Islands fish farming licenses. It is essential that the government listens, and that every measure of protection be taken to ensure the recovery and continued existence of wild salmon. Barron has introduced a private member’s bill that would remove polluting open-net pen farms from the Pacific coast.
“The federal government has an opportunity and really an obligation to protect our coastal communities against the harmful effects of open-net pen farming in critical salmon habitat,” said Barron. “The Liberal government has to act to protect the food security of B.C. First Nations who are the traditional stewards of this habitat.”
In November, Barron, Minister Murray and top DFO officials met with representatives of Coastal B.C. and Fraser River First Nations. The Chiefs in attendance were unanimous in their calls to get open-net pen fish farms out of the water, and urged the Minister to hear their warnings about the failing health of wild salmon stocks and resulting risks to First Nations’ food security.
“First Nations have been very clear: the Discovery Islands licenses must not be renewed, and there must be a clear and timely transition plan for all those who are employed in or affected by these farms today,” said Barron. “The consequences of failing to do so cannot be ignored, and neither can the warnings of B.C. First Nations.”