Norwegian article 2006

Time to celebrate! Our voice is being heard around the world.

Morten Most a journalist with the largest daily business paper in Norway contacted me through our website, wanting to do an article on First Nations opposition to Panfish’s plans to put fishfarms into our northcoast area. I contacted Friends of Wild Salmon and our two organizations worked together to help him make arrangements and set up contacts. His article appeared in their weekend feature edition. Morten Most mentioned that Panfish is in his paper almost daily and I think it must have taken a great deal of integrity to write an article exposing an aspect of Panfish’s business which I am sure John Fredriksen (one of the most powerful people in Norway) would rather have left unknown to the Norwegian business people.

April 8th,2006 the Leading Norwegian Business Paper featured the fight to save the Skeena from fishfarms in a 5 page spread!

Below is a rough translation of the article’s main points

The Norwegian Business Daily (Dagens Naeringsliv)

Headline means BLOOD BOILING IN SALMON COUNTRY.

Rod Sampare of Gitxsan First Nation talks of protecting the wild stock, saying the possible fish farming is his biggest fear.

Beverley Clifton Percival of Gitxsan, and Sampare, talk of their people s fishing traditions and reliance on wild salmon.

Beverley Clifton Percival of Gitxsan talks of Pan Fish majority owner John Frediksen, saying God has placed him in Norway and us here . Says multinational companies have a history of wrecking the environment. Clifton Percival threatens blockades, occupations and other direct action to protect the Gitxsan s territories and fishing rights. “We have the jurisdiction here. People wanting to do business here should come talk to me first.”

Below is a rough translation of the article’s main points

The Norwegian Business Daily (Dagens Naeringsliv)

Verne Jackson of Pan Fish/Kitkatla tells of the prospect of fish farming to benefit his island community, but so far it has not materialized.

Various background on First Nations, treaty talks, controversy in Canada over fish farming.

Local expert Allen Gottesfeld says a setting up a fish farm at Strouts point is imprudent , although not reckless.

Pan Fish CEO Atle Eide says possible activities in the Kitkatla area are many miles away from where we are today . &The licences are part of a process which have not discontinued. Says it s not on company s agenda now. Will only use the licences if Pan Fish gets all three, must be desired by local government. We ll do it only if first nations in the area welcome us.

Local boys fishing in the Skeena near Terrace say first nations overfish and blame everybody else and they don t have to follw the same rules as other people.

Reference to estimates by an IBM consultancy putting Skeena wild salmon value at almost 110 milion CAD. Comment by Pat Moss whose environmental organisation commissioned the study: The government s plans to open open net fish farming in the Skeena estuary is a bigger threat to those values than mining and logging.

Prince Rupert fishermen (commercial and sports fishing charter operator) say the money they make benefits the Canadian economy, whereas profits from fish farming tend to benefit foreign owners. Reckon open net farming should be outlawed.

Local environmentalist Luanne Roth says Pan Fish risks damaging the Canadian fishfarming industry as a whole, claims a fishfarm in sensitive waters makes a new fish farm moratorium much more likely. Recommends that Pan Fish stay in areas where there are no wild stocks that may be adverselt affected by fish farms. Says science is fuzzy, but says that study after study indicate that open net fish faming involves risks.

Excerpt from telefax from Kitkatla Chief Clifford White, describing the business agreement with Pan Fish. Highlighting its benefits to our community, the Prince Rupert Community and all of northern British Columbia.

Kitkatla people deeply divided on the issue. Anti-fishfarm Kitkatla member Conrad Lewis claims the majority are not in favor. Neighboring Tsimshian council member Stan Dennis recalls talks with Pan Fish representatives offering business ventures and jobs, saying wow, it was hard to say no to something like that & But our elders have states clearly that as long as fish farms are not 100 per cent risk free, there will be none. Period

Verne Jackson, liaison officer of Pan Fish, says he understands such points of view, but says other fist nations are doing things that prevent his community from having badly needed economic development. Recalls initial meetings with Pan Fish reps, presentations, visit to facilities on Vancouver Island. Everybody out here were all for it. Says Pan Fish has followed through, with 20 people trained and ready to work on the fish farms. However, Jackson admits that the timeframe remains a big question.

Council member Russell Watson says little has happened since they got involved. Says he has suggested to Pan Fish to use a site other than the controversial Strouts Point one, says got no response. Asked whether he fears the fish farms will never materialize, Watson admits to being concerned.

Pan Fish CEO says he knows where Kitkatla is, but that he has never been there and never had plans to go. We will never do anything there unless we are strongly welcomed.

Gitxsan s Beverley Clifton Percival compares fish farming to playing God . Says she is confident of winning the battle, but says infighting between First Nations makes everybody a loser. “There’s nothing the government likes more than first nations fighting first nations.”