Submission 0085-DAWSON

Submitter: Dan Dawson

Community: North Vancouver

Date Submitted: June 20, 2023

The provincial and federal governments, with the aid of a few corporate scientists, have managed very well to misinform the public about the dangers of sea lice from open net cage fish farms, which have caused the collapse of the pink salmon run in the Broughton Archipelago. To restore balance to the waters of the Broughton Archipelago, open net cage fish farming must be stopped now.

The waters of my ancestral home in the Broughton Archipelago, a part of Kingcome Inlet in British Columbia, Canada, are rife with vile open net cage fish farms. These fish farms are owned and operated by Marine Harvest, a Norwegian company plying their trade in our waters because what they are doing is illegal in Norway.

Our governments, on all levels and in particular at the provincial and federal levels, have played a masterful game of misinformation. With this tactic and the aid of a few corporate scientists, they have managed very well to misinform the public about the dangers of this type of aquaculture.

These fish farms have caused the collapse of the pink salmon run in the Broughton Archipelago and the people who live in this isolated area have watched it happen before their very eyes while people living thousands of miles away have made the decisions that have brought about this horrible result.

One of the greatest problems associated with this type of aquaculture are the lice that attach themselves to salmon fry as they attempt to leave on their journey to the sea. Since the salmon fry are very small they must swim relatively close to land which is where most of the fish farms are located. As they pass by the fish farms they are beset upon by lice and as a result many are killed, disfigured and for the most part, rendered useless.

Many of the world’s most noted scientists and the prestigious journals in which they write are in agreement that this is a recognized, documented and well known problem associated with open net cage fish farming and without doubt the foremost cause of the collapse of not only the pink salmon run in the Broughton but many large salmon runs involving all species of Pacific salmon along the coast of British Columbia.
It pains me to think of the observations that early Europeans made, in particular the British, who noted that my aboriginal ancestors appeared lazy, with no thought to the accumulation of wealth or to what may come tomorrow. Time has shown that my ancestors gave more thought to tomorrow than any other culture that appeared in this land. They took less when there was less to take and took only slightly more in times of plenty, never giving any thought to personal gain through the accumulation of more than was necessary. They had no equal in their husbandry of the land and resources, ever mindful of the delicate balance of nature and their power to cause imbalance through either miscalculation or greed.

Now my ancestral waters face an imbalance of tragic proportions and may well be changed beyond all hope of restoration to its former condition and all pleas for attention and assistance fall upon greedy and deaf ears. Ears that are attached to government officials whom are charged with the welfare of the land and the people who inhabit it. Those ears are also attached to corporations and scientists who should hang their heads in shame for the untruths they spout on behalf of their governmental and corporate masters.

Would you stand by while your children played with something that was potentially dangerous? Would you wait for the completion of a “study” that would provide irrefutable proof that what they were playing with was dangerous or not? Prudence would suggest that until such time as proof one way or the other was provided, the potential danger should be removed.

Please, I beg you, make the brave and correct decision. Put a stop to the insanity of open net cage fish farming now.

Klakwagila (Dan Dawson)

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