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BC  

First Nation's fish farm fight

A BC First Nation is taking its fight against open-net fish farms to Canada's highest court.

The Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish (quick-wa-sut-uh-nook/ha-kwuh-meesh) First Nation was ecstatic two years ago when a BC Supreme Court certified their class-action lawsuit against the province and Ottawa for failing to protect wild salmon stocks in the Broughton Archipelago.

The band contends that fish farms allowed to operate net pens in the open ocean off the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island caused an outbreak of sea lice in their traditional fishing grounds, and sought financial compensation for depleted wild salmon stocks.

But the government appealed, and a BC Appeal Court overturned the lower court decision in May, saying that the judge erred in certifying the class-action.

Chief Bob Chamberlin says the justice system is the last stand to stop the environmental damage being done by the fish farms, so his band is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

It remains to be seen whether the court will hear the appeal.



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