Marine Harvest granted injunction against activists
MARINE Harvest Canada has been granted an injunction that blocks activists from occupying its buildings on Swanson Island and from boarding any of its farms and docks.
The injunction, granted on July 2, blocks activists from occupying the buildings on Swanson Island, located east of Port McNeill, and from boarding Marine Harvest farms and docks along Vancouver Island and BC’s coast.
The injunction also blocks activists from a buffer zone between Marine Harvest’s farms and buoys.
The BC Supreme Court justice allowed an exception for anti-salmon farm campaigner Alexandra Morton, who is allowed to enter the buffer zone in a boat no longer than 2.6m to collect water samples.
Morton is looking for the piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), but researchers from the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences and University of BC found that ‘infection studies in BC reveal no mortality of salmon resulting from a heavy PRV infection’, according to a report they prepared in March for the Ministry of Environment.
Marine Harvest applied for the injunction after activists occupied its Swanson Island buildings and boarded several of its farms last year, creating an unsafe work environment for its employees. The firm said the activists have interfered with its work.
‘We respect the right to peaceful protest, but have a responsibility to protect our employees from harassment and threats,’ Marine Harvest spokesman Jeremy Dunn said in a statement.
‘We are thankful that the court has helped to preserve a safe workplace where our farmers can focus on raising healthy fish.’
The company operates within the traditional territories of 24 First Nations and has formal agreements with 15 of them and eight First Nation owned businesses. It said that some 20 per cent of its Canadian workforce is of First Nations heritage.
Above: First Nations protesters have conducted a long campaign against salmon farming