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Dzawada'enuxw First Nation to Christy Clark: Don't renew fish farm licences

A delegation from the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation in Kingcome Inlet will deliver an 11,000-signature petition to Premier Christy Clark's constituency office on Wednesday, November 14. The message: Don't renew open net-pen fish farm licences.

The First Nation has direct experience with the nearby Broughton Archipelago fish farms that were under scrutiny by the recently concluded Cohen Commission. A 2009 community profile says: "Our salmon and eulachon runs are declining and most youth do not participate in traditional practices such as hunting and fishing." The profile also says that as of the year 2000, "Pink Salmon runs in the Kingcome have declined from 100,000 to less than 20,000 per year; Chum have dwindled from 50000 to less than 2,000. Chinook runs have been extinguished entirely."

The Tyee spoke with Molina Dawson, a Kingcome resident who also took part in the 2010 march down Vancouver Island in support of wild salmon.

Speaking from the ferry en route from Nanaimo to Vancouver, Dawson told The Tyee: "We hope to make sure the licences for fish farms aren't renewed. We need to get the farms out, and soon." She said wild-salmon advocate Alexandra Morton would also be at the event on Wednesday, as well as many other supporters.

Members of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation plan to arrive at Clark's constituency office, 3615 W. Fourth Avenue near Dunbar, at noon on Wednesday.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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