First Nation group call for tenure cancellation after Mowi salmon escape

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We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nations say 1000 salmon have escaped from Pacific Canada site.

In a press release one the The Laich-Kwil-Tach Treaty Society site (which includes the We Wai Kai First Nation), the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nations has called to cancel the licence of a salmon farm site in Johnstone Strait, British Columbia.

The B.C. First Nation have expressed anger over an escape of 1000 salmon from the site. They also allege that they were delayed in getting a notification over it.

Wai Kai Nation Chief Brian Assu. PHOTO: We Wai Kai.

On Friday evening, Mowi confirmed to SalmonBusiness that staff discovered a small hole in a net at its Shaw Point farm during routine activities on May 24.

“This incident resulted in the escape of 1000 juvenile salmon. The hole was repaired and the incident was reported to DFO and local First Nations. Divers have thoroughly inspected all netting at the site to confirm there are no additional issues.

“We regret that this incident has occurred. Mowi takes our responsibility to prevent escapes seriously. We have invested heavily in modern netting designed to prevent escapes, which is regularly inspected and repaired as needed.

“Mowi values our strong relationship with the Laich-Kwil-Tach people. We have reached out to the Nations to meet, review the incident, and move forward in a collaborative manner. We look to meeting with them in person as soon as possible.”

In a letter on the 9th of June, Chief Brian Assu of the We Wai Kai and Chief Chris Roberts of Wei Wai Kum wrote that they advised the provincial government of the end to close the Shaw Point site, has has been operated by Mowi on a month by month basis since the expiry of the tenure.

“That site no longer has our consent to operate within our core territory,” said Chief Assu. “We have advised the government that we expect the cancelation of the tenure and the remediation of the site to commence.”

In 2019, the We Wai Kai Nation signed an agreement that will return over 3,000 hectares of land on the east coast of Vancouver Island after it has been in treaty negotiations for more than two decades, reported the Salmon Arm Observer.