Skip to main content

Statement regarding the federal government’s 5-year reissuance of salmon farming licences in our traditional territories

By June 19, 2024June 21st, 2024No Comments

VANCOUVER, BC – The Coalition of First Nations for Finfish Stewardship acknowledges the federal government’s announcement today of a 5-year re-issuance of salmon aquaculture licences within our traditional territories, while we work to further innovate and modernize the sector to continue to reduce interactions between wild and farmed salmon.

Today’s announcement falls short of what our Nations consulted on with the federal government. However, the 5-year re-issuance of licences provides opportunities to continue to advance our rights, self-determination, and ocean management planning. This will serve the conservation efforts underway and the application of traditional knowledge to Western science methodology as we continue to oversee marine resource operations in our territories. The Coalition will continue to participate in the ongoing transition process with the federal government towards closed containment systems. However, the process must respect our rights and objectives. The social and economic health of our communities is reliant on sustainable growth and the ability of the sector to attract investment, as finfish aquaculture supports meaningful employment in our territories.

Certainty and operational security are critical for the companies who remain committed to accomplishing the objectives in their partnership agreements. Our Nations have been the stewards of our coastal territories since time immemorial. Due to human impact on wild Pacific salmon stocks since colonization, many Nations have had to evolve their salmon stewardship and food security to include salmon farming. As result, the sector has become interwoven into the fabric of our communities over the past few decades, and anything less than a responsible, realistic, and achievable transition of this industry, as promised to us by the Government of Canada, will be unacceptable.

Economic reconciliation no longer means “Ottawa” telling First Nations what to do and how to do it in our traditional territories. We will be at the table for the foreseeable future and are anticipating reviewing and providing input to the draft transition plan that Minister Lebouthillier will present at the end of July.

Katie Maximick

Leave a Reply