Saving Our Salmon-Nourished Ecosystem

Wed, Oct 7, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Zoom Recording:

Action Evenings presents:

Saving the Salmon-Nourished Ecosystem of our Entire Coast

Wednesday, October 7th, 7:00-8:00pm
Please arrive early in order to be admitted through the waiting room.

In 2009 the Cohen Commission was set up to examine the disastrously low salmon run, where 1.4 million salmon returned despite a forecast of 10 million. Fast forward to 2020 and only about 270,000 sockeye are expected to return to the Fraser River, the lowest on what has been an increasingly dismal record.

On September 22, a broad coalition of 101 First Nations, tourism companies, environmental NGOs and commercial and sport fishing organizations joined voices in demanding the federal government immediately remove open-net salmon farms from the Discovery Islands due to sea lice epidemics. Due to the narrow channels forcing them to swim by the net-pens, migrating juvenile salmon were being bathed in toxic levels of sea lice and pathogens. Activists and UCV Environment Team members staged a “die-in” in front of the DFO office to add to the chorus.

Astoundingly, on September 28 the Minister of Fisheries, Bernadette Jordan, announced the decision NOT to remove the fish farms because “such farms pose at most a minimal risk of serious harm”. They had evaluated 10 pathogens from fish farms but (crucially) did not examine the impact of sea lice or do a cumulative risk assessment. CBC link Watershed Watch Feds Skip key Research

This week’s Action Evening will have a very timely discussion on fish farms. We are pleased to have two long-time fish farm activists join us.

Guest speakers:

Eddie Gardner (T’it’elem Spath), Sto:lo elder and member of the Skwah First Nation, is Elder-in-Residence at the University of the Fraser Valley. He is committed to the revival of the Halq’eméylem language and shares his traditional and cultural knowledge through storytelling and drumming at Sweat Lodge ceremonies and Medicine Wheel workshops. Mr. Gardner is also president of the Wild Salmon Defenders and has worked tirelessly to educate the public about the health risks and the threat to wild salmon by net-pen fish farms. Along the way he has organized boycotts and challenged retailers to adopt a sustainable seafood policy.

Sabra Woodworth is a retired ESL teacher with a “second career” since 2008 as an environmental activist. She has been working for years as a colleague, volunteer, and jack-of-all trades support for Alexandra Morton. She says she always wanted to volunteer for a cause and “what could be more important than saving the salmon-nourished ecosystem of our entire coast”?

Action Evenings are held on zoom each week and are intended as a space for us to come together to learn from experienced, knowledgeable folks on the pressing issues of our time. Action evenings start with a talk and a question and answer session, and then after the hour is up, there is opportunity for open, collaborative discussion.


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Action Evenings • Environment