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A group of First Nations warns they will renew salmon licenses regardless of the Canadian government’s decision. They will appeal for their aboriginal rights and issue the licenses themselves.

Parallel, as we informed in February, Canadian associations are asking the Government to step back its decision to close all net-pen salmon farming and retain the 79 salmon farm licenses next June.

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“We’ll be going down the road of creating the co-jurisdictional framework that involves the transfer of power to local First Nations management authorities,” The Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw group said during a press conference in Ottawa.

Moreover, First Nations have won in the past some legal cases protecting their aboriginal rights to fish in their territories. Recently, the group signed an agreement to assert control overfishing in their territory, including salmon farms.

Government of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government goal is to avoid pen-net fish farms starting around 2025. Now, the government has closed around a quarter of the salmon farms in British Columbia. They refused to renew licenses for 19 sites in the Discovery Islands.

Previously, the Cohen Commission identified the Discovery Islands as the cause of a “bottleneck” for wild salmon migration routes. Government scientists discovered that there was no big risk to wild salmon. Despite this, Trudeau government ordered the closure of the farms.

According to a First Nations report, British Columbia communities would lose 4,700 jobs and around $1.2 billion in profits if all 79 farming licenses are not renewed.

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