Rally for Wild Salmon: “Fish Farms Out” (Norway, British Columbia VI)

norwaybc_smlOn May 8, 2010, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the grounds of the Legislature of British Columbia in Victoria where one of the largest rallies of its kind was taking place. The rally was organized as part of the 2.5 week long “Get Out Migration” calling for the removal of open-net salmon farms along the B.C. coast. Between April 21 and May 8, biologist Alexandra Morton travelled from the community of Echo Bay in the Broughton Archipelago and proceeded on foot down Vancouver Island where hundreds of supporters joined her as they approached the BC Legislature. An estimated 4,000 people attended the rally.


Alexandra Morton – biologist, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) – While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.

Bob Chamberlin, chairman, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk (Gilford Island, BC) – Chief Bob Chamberlin is from the the Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation on Gilford Island, BC. He is the chairman of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council and has been actively involved in efforts that oppose open-net salmon farms.

Stewart Phillip, president, BC Union of Indian Chiefs (Penticton, BC) – Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is from the Penticton Indian Band and is the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. Stewart is serving is fourth three-year term as the president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs.

Darren Blaney, former chief, Homalco First Nation (near Campbell River, BC) – The Homalco First Nation is a member of the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council.

Rafe Mair, commentator, Rafe Mair (Lions Bay, BC) – Between 1975 and 1981, Rafe served as an MLA for the riding of Kamloops and later became a popular radio talk-show host until 2005. Since then, Rafe has been a vocal opponent of the privatation of BC’s rivers and creeks and of open-net salmon farms.

Vicky Husband, environmentalist (Victoria, BC) – Vicky is one of British Columbia’s best known environmentalists. Past Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club of B.C., she is tireless in her drive to protect her province’s natural heritage, especially the coastal rainforest and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. She has been a leader in numerous conservation debates, including working for the protection of the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound, and establishing Canada’s first grizzly bear sanctuary, on B.C.’s north coast. For the past five years, Vicky has also focused on salmon and other fisheries- management. She is a member in the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

Billy Proctor, fisherman (Echo Bay, BC) – Billy Proctor was a commerical fisherman for 60 years and has been a resident of the Broughton Archipelago for 74 years.

Fin Donnelly, member of parliament New Westminster-Coquitlam, Port Moody, NDP (Coquitlam, BC) – Fin is the NDP Critic on Fisheries and Oceans. He has introduced legislation to ban tanker traffic along BC’s sensitive northern coast and transition all fish farms to closed containment. Prior to being elected, Fin played a key role in calling for and securing the Cohen Inquiry into the collapse of the Fraser Sockeye Salmon. He served on Coquitlam City Council for 7 years and was the Executive Director of Rivershed Society of B.C. for 13 years. Fin twice swam the Fraser River (1400km) to promote sustainable living.