Fish farm opponents detained in protest at Victoria shipyard
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018 10:46AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 5, 2018 6:41PM PDT
Several people were detained at Victoria's Point Hope Shipyard after illegally boarding a vessel to protest fish farms.
Police received reports at around 7 a.m. that protesters had illegally entered the shipyard and boarded a vessel.
Calling themselves "wild salmon defenders," six protesters boarded the Orca Chief, a vessel reportedly used by salmon-farming company Marine Harvest to transport Atlantic salmon to B.C. fish pens.
They then unfurled a giant banner that said "Fish Farms Out!" from the bow of the ship.
Police and Marine Harvest representatives were among those gathering outside the vessel.
All six protesters were safely removed from the boat by noon after negoatiators worked to get them down, according to Victoria police. Two people remain on the boat as police negotiators work to remove them. Work at the shipyard ceased during the standoff.
The last protestor has been safely removed from the boat— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) September 5, 2018
The protesters said they were opposed to Marine Harvest's open-net fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, which are migratory routes for wild salmon and killer whales.
"For nearly thirty years these operations, which are opposed by the nations who never consented to these farms, have posed a bio-hazardous threat to the wild salmon population," the group said in a news release. "Today's action and is meant to draw attention to the fact that Marine Harvest continues to operate in Broughton, without proper consultation or consent from the Salmon Nations, whose operations continue to threaten wild salmon runs."
The group says that the N'amgis First Nation will be in court Sept. 10 to try to halt the restocking of the fish pens.