First Nation Lawsuit Challenges Federal Fish Farm Licences –

by ahnationtalk on January 11, 2019186 Views

Salmon farms infringe on Indigenous rights, say Dzawada’enuxw.

The Dzawada’enuxw First Nation is suing the federal government for granting nine fish farm licences in its territory without the nation’s consent.

According to the Federal Court lawsuit, the granting of licences to Cermaq and Marine Harvest encroached upon Aboriginal rights by threatening wild eulachon and salmon populations, traditional staples for the First Nations.

“It is a very simple, uncluttered case,” Jack Woodward, lawyer for the nation, told The Tyee. “If we can prove fishing is an aboriginal right and that fish farms have infringed on these rights, then federal licences allowing fish farms should fall.”

The lawsuit argues that the fish farm licences have exposed wild salmon and eulachon (a smelt-like species that provides essential oils and grease) to higher levels of sea lice and viral diseases, including piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), a disease of farmed Atlantic salmon.

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