Courtenay, BC—The National Farmers Union (NFU) stands in solidarity with British Columbia fishing communities and the Save our BC Fisheries Campaign. We call on the Canadian government to make urgently needed reforms to Pacific fisheries management and licensing policy.
Currently, the Canadian government allows international investors and multinational companies to buy up fishing licenses and quota, driving out small-scale processors and community and family fishing businesses. These policies are resulting in a loss of jobs, destruction of coastal communities and cultures, the privatization of public resources and the concentration of power and wealth into the hands of multinational corporations.
“The current system is unjust, as Indigenous coastal communities are disproportionally affected by the privatization of access to fish resources, impacting their harvesting rights and livelihoods,” said Terran Giacomini of the NFU’s Indigenous Solidarity Working Group.
“As a member of La Via Campesina, the millions-strong international movement of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers, and as an ally of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples, we in the NFU seek to protect, defend and strengthen the communities that depend on fishery for their livelihood,” said Joan Brady, La Via Campesina International Coordinating Committee member and North America regional co-coordinator. “The livelihoods of small-scale and community-based fisherfolk depend on the health and sustainability of fish stocks, their habitat, and coastal ecosystem, in contrast to large-scale operations that extract all the wealth they can from the waters without consideration of the long-term effects of their actions.”
La Via Campesina and the NFU are strongly committed to food sovereignty, the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and food systems.
“As coastal communities in British Columbia face the destructive results of industrial fishing and the privatization of a public resource, and Canadian consumers cannot access a good supply of local fish, a Pacific fisheries policy based on food sovereignty is needed more than ever,” concluded Jan Slomp, BC farmer and NFU 1st Vice President (Policy).
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For more information:
, La Via Campesina International Coordinating Committee: 226-237-3108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Slomp, NFU 1st Vice President (Policy): (250) 898-8223 or (403) 704-4364