In June 2009, young wild salmon were seen spilling onto the dock in Port McNeill as live Atlantic salmon were unloaded from a vessel into a truck. The farm salmon were being transported to a hatchery to strip their eggs, but Marine Harvest did not have a licence to possess the wild salmon which had been presumably scooped out of the sea pen with the Atlantic salmon. Bill Mackay of Mackay Whale Watching picked up some of these fish and gave them to me for identification - they were pink salmon. I pressed a charged under the Fisheries Act, and for the first time ever the Department of Justice (DOJ) took over a private prosecution and moved forward with the case. More generally when the DOJ takes over a private citizen's case they stay the charges. The DOJ required Fisheries and Oceans Canada to actually lay charges against Marine Harvest for illegal possession of wild salmon, as well as, a second report involving juvenile herring. The trial did not proceed, Marine Harvest spokesman, Clare Backman is quoted in the Times Colonist saying the "the company will plead guilty in court Jan. 18. He said there are two counts of incidental bycatch, but he could not elaborate further on the case until after the legal proceedings are concluded."
(Times Colonist, Oct 23, 2011).
Also next week the Norwegian salmon farm company Cermaq is attempting to sue Don Staniford for publishing graphics that compare salmon farming to the tobacco industry. Don has been working to protect wild salmon from salmon farms for almost 20 years. He has gone to investigate the industry around the world including Chile, Norway and Scotland. Don has met with the CEOs, gone to the share holder meetings, met with scientists, has pressured environmental organizations not to succumb to industry pressure, he has been tireless, fearless and incorruptible. When Cermaq tried to silence him "Staniford responded one minute past the deadline and with another cigarette-like-package graphic that read "Norwegian Owned" and included an image of a raised middle finger and the words "Salmon Farming." article Don has worked for several environmental organizations in the past but is going solo on this. Don needs funds to go toe to toe with a company whose largest shareholder is the Norwegian government. If you can help please do.If you can attend the opening day please show support for this brave man at the Court House at Hornby and Nelson 10 am, the exact court # will be posted in the lobby that morning. It was revolting to watch the eye-contact darting back and forth between government employees on the stand at the Cohen Inquiry and the salmon farming representatives. They were huddled together in the hallways. The industry told us their fish would be tested, but appear to have changed their minds after the hearings. The people who are reporting on and challenging this industry in court are taking personal risk and need your help.