Water War – Cermaq Fails To Remove Yaakswiis Fish Farm Docks
Update Sept 22, 2015: According to members of the Ahousaht, Cermaq has now removed their fish farm pens from Yaakswiis
PRESS RELEASE, September 21, 2015
Today at 6 am, the Yaakswiis Warriors and their supporters went to witness the removal of the Cermaq fish farm pens from the Yaakswiis site in anticipation of the fulfillment of a verbal agreement made between Lennie John and James Costello of Cermaq would, “at first light,” bring out a barge and tugboat and remove the pens & anchors. After first light came and went, the Yaakswiis Warriors tried numerous times to contact the Chief and Council as well as Cermaq to inquire as to what the hold up was on the arrival of the barge and crew. Chief and Council as well as Cermaq did not answer the calls, no contact was made.
At 8:30 am, a small group contacted Tyson Atleo, liason for MHSS (Maaqtusiis Hahouthee Stewardship Society), and were informed that Cermaq was concerned for its workers’ safety, citing fears of harrassment. This was never communicated to the Yaakswiis Warriors. The Yaakswiis Warriors and supporters waited for 6 hours on 4 boats at aproximately one kilometer distance from site, when they were finally told that the pens would not be removed today as promised.
One of the requests made by the Yaakswiis Warriors in the original letter delivered on September 12, 2015 asked for a written agreement, that is legally binding, signed by Cermaq and MHSS (Maaqtusiis Hahouthee Stewardship Society), protecting Yaakswiis from any and all new fish farms, relocations, and expansions for time immemorial; as well as, from any resource extraction for time immemorial. This request has not been met.
At this time the Yaakswiis Warriors are declaring that Cermaq and all parties involved have come to an impasse and, pending immediate communications from all parties involved for the absolute removal of all permits in the area, negotiations in good faith have failed and the Warriors and their supporters will be reoccupying the dock and reviewing all Cermaq fish farm operations in Ahousaht waters.
Yaakswiis Warriors Ahousaht First Nations
Sacheen Seitcham firstname.lastname@example.org