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Marine Harvest going to court

 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Marine Harvest going to court Reply with quote

Hello All

We are one step closer to applying the laws of Canada to salmon farming! It was a pivotal day in court. Although it is only one more step towards enforcing the laws of Canada on fish farmers, it was essential if we are to bring reason to this situation.

In September I laid charges against Marine Harvest for illegal possession of juvenile wild salmon. This came after months of correspondence with Fisheries and Oceans, asking them to uphold the Fisheries Act and lay a charge themselves.

Today was our third court appearance. The first two were simply to set dates, and then extend those dates so that the Department of Justice could review the details of the case. Today's appearance was a "process hearing" with a judge to lay out the charge and our evidence. The judge could either have refused to issue a summons, or approve the charge.

Today in Port Hardy, the judge approved the charge and a summons will be issued to Marine Harvest to appear in court and the trial could proceed.

There are several directions this could take from this point:

1. The Department of Justice could take the case over and run the case. My lawyer, Jeff Jones and I are hoping this will occur as this is truly David against Goliath, a tiny North Island law firm working Pro Bono to date, against a multi billion dollar international corporation. A round of applause for Jeffery and Marianne Jones they have done so much already!

2. If the Department of Justice takes the case, they could proceed to trial where all evidence can be heard, and a Judge will rule on the merit of the case. Or, the Department of Justice can stay the charges and the case is closed without a trial.

3. Jeff Jones and I might have to run the trial ourselves. While this seems a good idea, the reality is a tidal wave of paperwork that could overwhelm his firm, even though this appears to be an extremely straightforward charge which many fishermen have faced. However, well funded corporate defendants can stretch a trial out for days if not weeks, making it extremely costly for a private citizen to enforce the Fisheries Act.

In any case we are setting precedence. Canada cannot manage its fisheries in a sustainable way unless the laws about how many fish are caught are enforced. Over-fishing is a global problem, it is not sound management to allow salmon farmers unlimited access to BC wild fish.

Thanks to all of you for all your support. If you know anyone who would like to join us in signing the letter to the Minister of Fisheries to PLEASE ENFORCE THE FISHERIES ACT, the letter is still on our website www.adopt-a-fry.org. <http> Until the Federal government is
willing to uphold the laws of Canada we will continue to do what we can to fill the void.

My deepest thanks to all of you, we face tough stretch ahead, but once again the courts have agreed with our position.

A remarkable film will be released next week on the Global impact of salmon farming, here is the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eggrGn0V0fg

No individual can right the wrongs we have wreaked on our planet. Thank you all for being with me on this.

alexandra

Have put this elsewhere but ,shows that with effort somethings go right
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Up date Reply with quote

Department of Justice lays charges against fish farm company

Unlawful by-catch of wild salmon by Norwegian fish farm company

(April 20, 2010, Port Hardy) Today, Todd Gerhart of the Department of Justice, stayed charges laid by biologist Alexandra Morton against Marine Harvest, the largest Norwegian fish farm company in the world, for unlawful possession of wild salmon. In a landmark initiative Gerhart advised the Court that on April 16, 2010, DOJ filed a new indictment against Marine Harvest, including the original charges laid by Alexandra Morton as well as new charges for unlawful possession of herring reported in October 2009. Mr. Gerhart will be the prosecutor.

Morton and her lawyer Jeffery Jones are relieved. “It is my strong opinion,” says Mr. Jones, a former Crown Prosecutor for DOJ, “that this industry was given access to the BC coast and appears to have been conducting itself as if it were above the law. Today’s decision by Mr. Gerhart and the Department of Justice confirms that no corporation is above the law. This is why private prosecutions are important democratic safeguards. Ms. Morton’s prosecution has triggered enforcement action by DOJ. I am extremely pleased by Mr. Gerhart’s decision.”

In June of 2009, young wild salmon were observed falling from a load of farm salmon being off-loaded from Marine Harvest’s vessel Orca Warrior. Some of these fish were collected and Marine Harvest admitted in the newspaper to catching the wild salmon. “By-catch” is fish caught without a licence in the process of fishing for other species. By-catch is strictly controlled in all other fisheries and in some cases causes entire fisheries to be shut down.

“For decades we have heard reports of wild fish trapped in fish farms, eaten by the farm fish and destroyed during harvest,” says biologist Alexandra Morton, “but when DFO was informed of these offenses they would not, or could not, lay a charge. Canada cannot manage wild fish like this. You can’t regulate commercial and sport fishermen and then allow another group unlimited access to the same resource. BC will lose its wild fish.”

In 1993, the Pacific Fishery Regulations exempted salmon farms from virtually all fishing regulations. Unlike commercial fishermen, salmon farmers can use bright lights known to attract wild fish. The oily food pellets they use also attract fish and wildlife. Commercial fishermen are required to pay for observers and cameras on their vessels that record by-catch, so that fishing can be halted to preserve non-targeted stocks. No such enforcement has been applied to salmon farmers, despite regular reports of black cod, rock cod, herring, lingcod, wild salmon, Pollock, capelin and other species in the pens, in stomachs of the farmed fish and destroyed at harvest time….Until now.

“This is a ray of hope that we can work through the issue of Norwegian salmon farming in BC waters. I am thankful to hand this over to the Department of Justice. Aquaculture is not the problem. The problem is the reckless way government sited it, managed it and gave it priority over the public fisheries. I call on government to protect the families now dependant on this industry as it undergoes the long overdue scrutiny of the courts, the judicial inquiry and public opinion.“

Alexandra Morton 250-974-7086
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would appear that it is all starting to go wrong for Marine Harvest as Fish Legal are starting along the road to take them to court for the collapse in salmonoid stocks in the Loch Ewe system. About time too, the way that fish farming is carried out, and regulated, is a disgrace. It's a shame that in the UK, Canada and everywhere else (or so it seems) the authorities seem ambivilent to the damage that they cause and others have to do their enforcement work for them.

Fish Legal is asking that people join up and help raise the funds for this, and the other, legal work they do. It's only £20 to join the Angling Trust and support them.
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