First Nation calls on BC to follow USA lead on bill to ban Open Net Cage Fish Farms

First Nations Leaders


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                        March 04, 2018


First Nation calls on BC to follow USA lead on bill to ban Open Net Cage Fish Farms


The Dzawada’enuxw First Nation (DFN) acknowledges with approval the Washington State Government Bill banning Open Net Cage Fish Farms, which passed by a vote of 31-16 on Friday, March 2nd.


In August of 2017, ¼ million fish escaped from an Atlantic fish farm facility in the US into the Salish Sea.  With this bill, Atlantic salmon net-pen farming will be phased out in Washington by 2025 under legislation passed by the state Senate.  “We have done the right thing,” said Senator Kevin Ranker said. “We have supported our culture and our natural resources.”


The Dzawada’enuxw, a nation member of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, whose main village is in Kingcome Inlet, has openly opposed Atlantic salmon fish farms in their territory for 30 years.  Of the 100 fish farms in BC, 18 are within the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw territory, and are up for renewal of their leases with BC this year.


“We have the US on both sides of BC, in Alaska and Washington state, taking more action than Canada to protect wild salmon stocks, by not allowing fish farms in their waters.” said elected and traditional Dzawada’enuxw Chief Willie Moon.  “Our nation has never given consent to this industry to be in our territories.  We want them out of our water.  Fish know no boundaries, how protected are the wildstocks in the US if BC is still putting virus infected fish into our oceans, and taking these risks with our natural ecosystem?’ 


The DFN are still waiting to hear from the British Columbia government on the next steps in their Government to Government process to discuss the issue of fish farm leases in their territory since they met jointly on January 30th.    BC has stated that it will uphold consent based decision making as set forth in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 



Media contact:

Willie Moon

Elected Chief Councilor

Dzawada’enuxw First Nation

250 974 3013