Canada's First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) on Monday called for Mowi Canada West, Grieg Seafood BC and Cermaq Canada to halt efforts to overturn a decision that will close salmon farming operations in British Columbia's Discovery Islands area by June 2022.
"It is clear that the majority of First Nations in BC oppose open net pen fish farming due to the detrimental effects it has on wild salmon: the 102 First Nations that support the removal of fish farms from the ocean are supportive of Minister Jordan’s decision," the council stated.
The areas impacted by this decision are some of the oldest sites on the West Coast and are located on the traditional territory of the Homalco, Klahoose, K’omoks, Kwaikah, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum First Nations, the council noted.
Earlier this month, Mowi Canada West and Cermaq filed applications with the federal court seeking injunctions and to overturn the decision, made by Canada Fisheries Minster Bernadette Jordan last December.
Grieg Canada also submitted an application for judicial review to the court concerning the fisheries minister's decision.
The FNLC also pointed out that overturning the decision would be counter to the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and "would effectively create a situation where First Nations Inherent Title and Rights are contingent on the Crown."
"The FNLC refutes this, as Indigenous Peoples are the proper title holders and the original caretakers and stewards of our respective traditional territories," the council said.