Update: Letter from Alexandra, May 17, 2010

Hello. Please see this video on the Get Out Migration.  (SEE BELOW) Watch it with pride...this one is about you!

The biggest environmental rally in the history of BC and government has not reacted. We may need to do this again. We may need to run for political office to protect our salmon, natural resources and our communities to survive.  Below is my letter to Gordon Campbell. Please build our community, let your contacts know they can join us in keeping this part of earth alive...salmonaresacred.org "What you can do" The Petition.

Thanks to all of you, you are awesome in the true sense of the word, look at all the signs, faces, towns, peaceful and powerful.... Life on earth is up to us.


Letter from Alexandra Morton to Gordon Campbell

May 17, 2010

Dear Gordon Campbell

On the afternoon of May 8, 2010 thousands of British Columbians from all walks of life, from the far reaches of Kingcome Inlet, Hope Town and Gwyasdums, from Port McNeill to across the Strait of Georgia and from the bays and watersheds of Vancouver Island traveled to your office to tell you that we want salmon farms out of our ocean, because we want our wild salmon. Everywhere in the Pacific Ocean where salmon farms do not exist (Alaska and the western Pacific) wild salmon remain abundant, even the Fraser sockeye that do not pass salmon farms are thriving.  The people of BC want their salmon back.

Someday we are going to learn how Canada’s governments were sold on corporate salmon raised in public waters in cages that prevent public access when the Constitution states no one has the right to privatize ocean spaces, nor own a fish in the sovereign waters of Canada.   In 1989, fish farms were handed to the province to simply side-step the inconvenience of the Constitution, but this era is over and the industry remains fundamentally unconstitutional. Farm salmon enable dams on the Fraser River, oil wells, clear-cuts, open pit mines and I think this is why the bureaucracy has blindly pushed it no matter which government is in power or what scientists, lawyers, First Nations and everyone else has to say.  I think Ministry of Agriculture and Land’s handling of salmon farms needs thorough scrutiny.

Mr. Campbell, you did not cause this problem, but you have inherited it. The era of cheap oil is over with the people on the Gulf of Mexico being the first hit with what will be a cascading degradation of planet earth that all our children will inherit.  You cannot morally chose a salmon that robs one ocean, to pollute a second one while consuming fuel because it feeds Atlantic salmon in BC on fish from Chile.  You must choose the salmon that comes home to us without oil consumption feeding us, our forests and creating oxygen.

Norwegian salmon farming corporations are holding this coast ransom using the excuse “jobs”, when at the same time they are mechanizing to reduce their payroll.  Nothing about this industry appears legitimate to me.  It does not make food. It depletes global supply.  It is not sustainable as it is running out of cheap fish to grind into pellets.  It is not benign as it intensifies disease and pollutes.

I do not believe the assurances from the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAL), nor the Federal Pacific Biological Station that salmon farms are not damaging Canada’s public fishery resources. I believe their research has been skewed and suppressed. I eagerly accept any invitation to argue these points in a court of law.

The Norwegian salmon farming industry is consuming massive quantities of Canada’s wild fish with no accounting, or licenses. If you think I am wrong, let’s have a look.  Put cameras and observers on every fish pen as it is pulled to the surface, on every packer pumping out the pens and on the assembly line as these fish are gutted.  Commercial fishermen have accepted and borne the costs of this scrutiny to protect wild fish and the Norwegians can too. Why did it require an order from the Department of Justice to make DFO lay a charge against Marine Harvest for unlawful possession of wild salmon? Something is very wrong here.

Why won’t MAL test Atlantic salmon facilities for the Norwegian ISA virus? How can MAL say sea lice in Nootka Sound are not drug resistant without producing a single test result?

My colleagues from the First Nations, scientific, legal, environmental and political communities have all tried to bring reason to the Norwegian salmon farming industry, but the government sponsored level of secrecy surrounding it simply grows.  The only reason for secrecy is activity the public does not like.

If we remove corporate farmers and the European shareholders from this equation the solution is simple:

  1. Rescind the leases under all salmon farms in British Columbia and place covenants on these sites in trust for future generations, as they are BC’s most productive coastal wild fishery grounds.
  2. Invite Norway to graciously bow-out and go face the calamities they are experiencing in Chile and in their own shores.
  3. Protect aquaculture jobs by WISELY developing a sustainable, community-based land-based industry
  4. Use the best knowledge we have and actually restore the resilient wild fish, not enhanced fish, which are very unlikely to survive climate change.

If the people of British Columbia are your primary concern, there is no rational obstacle to embracing these solutions please start rescinding leases immediately.

There is something very wrong with this situation and it is only a matter of time before we figure it out. Lets move forward. Given their track record in Chile these Norwegian companies are not sustainable anyway. The state of the planet is a very serious concern and it is immoral to further degrade public resources that we will need on in the coming decades. This is about food-security and to pretend it is anything less is deceptive. In a world depleted of easy oil no one is going to be moving fish from the south Pacific to make less fish in the North Pacific, but we will most definitely be thankful to have millions of wild salmon returning to us for free!

Thousands of people showed up in person to deliver a message to you. Get salmon farms Out of BC waters. We await your response.


Alexandra Morton