A flotilla of 20 vessels surrounded a fish farm site Tuesday near Quadra Island, where workers were installing new equipment on a facility protesters say is not welcome in the area.

"This is the worst of all possible places," protest co-ordinator Claudia Lake said. "Fraser River sockeye are just beginning to out-migrate through here."

The Cyrus Rocks farm site near Quadra Island is operated by Mowi, a fish farming company out of Campbell River that has had a tenure for the site for 33 years.

The site has been inactive for the past six years but protesters rallied when they found out workers were starting to put equipment back in place.

"This is not a site for an open-net pen fish farm," Lake said. "There are too many things that are being affected and will be affected by it."

Taking part in the demonstration was George Quocksister Jr., a hereditary chief of the Laichkwiltach Nation who said he was there speaking on behalf of the chief of the Homalco First Nations.

"The elders are disgusted about what's going on here. It's a dirty foreign industry," Quocksister said.

"I can say they're dirty because everyone's seen the videos."

Mowi spokesperson Jeremy Dunn told CTV News after meeting with the Homalco chief and councillors that the company has decided to put its work at the site on hold temporarily.

"We're hopeful that we'll find a positive pathway forward with Homalco and, out of respect for those conversations, work will be stopped at the site until further notice," Dunn said.