Protesters gathered outside of Premier John Horgan’s office on Jacklin Road in Langford Friday afternoon to stand against fish farms in the province. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

See where escaped Atlantic salmon have been caught off Vancouver Island

Fish farm protest reaches Saanich

A trio of fish farm protesters who spent a month in Saanich outside a Department of Fisheries and Oceans office are back in Langfordwhere they’re camped out at Premier John Horgan’s constituency office.

Tsastilqualus Ambers, 67, and two others camped in protestation over open-net fish farms at the DFO office in Commerce Circle off Vanalman for a month. In the end they were removed by Saanich Police on Tuesday, at the request of the landlord, not DFO, said Ambers, of the Ma’amtagila Nation.

It’s the latest effort by Indigenous people on the Island to camp out in an attempt to pressure the NDP into changing fish farm legislation. There was also a rally held at Lana Popham’s office on Quadra Street back in September.

Ambers and other protesters seek higher authority for Indigenous nations in their own territories, pointing to fish farms such as those in Alert Bay of the Broughton archipelago, which exist without consent from the local First Nation, she said.

The group would like to end existing fish pens in traditional territories.

Horgan announced in October that fish farm tenures would be reviewed, as recommended in the 2012 Cohen Commission, with a focus on potentially removing them from the migratory routes of wild salmon.

In Washington State, however, there’s been a full review of open net fish farms by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The statewide inspection was initiated after the collapse of Cooke’s Cypress Island net pen near Anacortes which released 160,000 non-native Atlantic salmon that have since been tracked on both the west and east sides of Vancouver Island.

Related: See map of Atlantic salmon caught in B.C. waters

Earlier this week DNR announced it has terminated Cooke Aquaculture Pacific’s Atlantic lease outside Port Angeles where the company farms Atlantic salmon. DNR said Cooke was operating the fish farm 500 feet outside its authorized area, was maintaining an unsafe anchoring system and was failing to prevent non-biodegradable, petroleum-based Styrofoam it uses in flotation material from leaching into the water.

Horgan’s office had already been the target of fish farm protests and Ambers says the trio plans to stay there for another 30 days.

With files from Paul Gottlieb, Peninsula Daily News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Protesters gathered outside of Premier John Horgan’s office on Jacklin Road in Langford Friday afternoon to stand against fish farms in the province. (Katherine Engqvist/News Gazette staff)

Just Posted

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
UPDATED: Victoria police arrest high-risk parolee with history of bank robbery

Citizen alerts cops after spotting parolee on Pandora Avenue

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Saanich implements single-lane traffic stretch on Prospect Lake Road along Clavert Park. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Saanich makes one-way traffic permanent on segment of Prospect Lake Road

Prospect Lake Road to close near Calvert Park Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. for construction

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Most Read