Local elder organized rally against fish farms

A rally to protect wild salmon on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery last week included a contingent from Chilliwack.

A rally to protect wild salmon on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery last week included a contingent from Chilliwack.

Squaw elder Eddie Gardner said he organized the peaceful gathering of “wild salmon warriors” to help push for a province-wide moratorium on open-net salmon farms in the ocean.

“It is hard to believe the lengths they will go to allow business to continue as usual,” he said. “We have to fill the courtroom full of people on Sept. 7 and 8 to ensure the truth gets out.”

Gardner is urging anyone concerned about the future of wild salmon to write letters to newspapers and politicians, or attend the Cohen Commission hearings, on West Georgia Street in Vancouver after the long weekend.

He wrote a letter to B.C. premier Christy Clark last week, asking for her support of wild salmon with a fish-farm clampdown to prevent a “catastrophe” on her watch.

“By supporting a moratorium on licensing open-net fish farms on the oceans, you would take leadership in protecting the wild salmon industry that provides many jobs to British Columbians and is a very vibrant part of the B.C. economy,” Gardner wrote. “It would also mean you would ensure continued support to aboriginal people’s right to fish for salmon that has sustained us since time immemorial.”

Biologist and whale researcher Alexandra Morton told supporters she was thrilled to hear the sound of “wild salmon” songs and drums coming from the rally in the streets below on Tuesday, as Cohen Commission hearings into aquaculture continued.

The aquaculture hearings began on Aug. 25 to look into the possible link between open-net fish farms in the migratory path of salmon, and the sockeye salmon crash of 2009.

Morton is pressing the government hold off on any licensing of new fish farms in the ocean while the federal Cohen Commission is still underway.

The concerted effort “to cover up the marine anemia outbreak that occurred on salmon farms in the Fraser sockeye migratory corridor” is extraordinary, she said.

“Today we hit a low. Honour and truth abandoned. It is a struggle to remain hopeful,” wrote Morton on her blog last week, at http://alexandramorton.typepad.com.

She said that “marine anemia” has been called everything from a virus, a syndrome, to a leading candidate cause of the death of millions of Fraser sockeye.

“If DFO succeeds in disassembling Dr. Kristi Miller’s lab, the truth about this disease, its impact on sockeye and the concern voiced in the 1990s regarding its potential for health concerns will never be revealed,” Morton said.

“If these vets want to tell us all the research done on marine anemia, also called Plasmacytoid Leukemia was wrong, they are going to have to retract the papers they wrote in journals such as Cancer Research, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, The Canadian Veterinary Journal, the Journal of General Virology and Dr. Stephen’s PhD Thesis.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Classic cars make a stop in Chilliwack during Brogan’s Ride Against Cancer

With the weather cooperating, more classics than expected hit the road for the fundraiser

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

PHOTOS: Cat owners in Chilliwack celebrate National Kitten Day

Chilliwack Progress readers share photos of their favourite felines on National Kitten Day

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Foodies flock to drive-thru food truck fest in Chilliwack

The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival takes place this weekend at Chilliwack Heritage Park

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read