The Sea Shepherd crew is getting ready for Saturday's flotilla. (Twila Amato, Vista Radio staff)
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be hosting a flotilla event on Saturday morning.
They will be joined by Sea Shepherd international chair Pamela Anderson, Laichwiltach hereditary chief George Quocksister Jr., and Green Party MP Paul Manly.
“We will be peacefully cruising up Seymour Narrows and entering Okisollo Channel and visiting a couple of fish farms namely, a few that are owned by Cermaq and another farm owned by Grieg Seafood,” Sea Shepherd’s Director of Ships and Campaigns Captain Lockhart “Locky” MacLean said.
“We’re encouraging other vessels to join. Private citizens, tour operators, and people that own businesses here in Campbell River are all invited to join. What we’ll do is cruise up slowly towards these farms and then have a little bit of an event and turn around and come back.”
MacLean adds it’s a good way to help raise awareness about the negative effects of fish farms on wild salmon stocks.
He says based on the research Sea Shepherd has done, as well as working with field experts, they have found a marked correlation between declining wild salmon numbers and fish farms.
He says juvenile fish, on their way towards open sea, get attracted to the feed from fish farms, enter the mesh and don’t come back out.
“The problem for these baby fish is that a lot of them don’t come back out. They’re getting covered in lice, we know for a fact that just a few sea lice are enough to kill a juvenile salmon. We also know that chemicals and feed are affecting these fish.”
“What we’re advocating is for these farms to be removed from the ocean. The science is clear, the facts are clear, it’s been well-documented. Since the arrival of these farms, there’s been a marked decline in wild salmon populations and the facts speak for themselves.”
Saturday’s flotilla will start off at 11:00am at Discovery Harbour Marina, and head north of Campbell River towards Okisollo Channel, ending at Venture Point and Barnes Bay.