Salmon signs hoped to help cultivate awareness
Rebecca James

A Southridge student is adding her voice, and handiwork, to a call to end ocean-based fish farms.

Amadea de Wit, in Grade 11 at the South Surrey school, said she sent 10 red-and-green laminated salmon signs – in the shape of the fish and bearing the words ‘Stay Wild’ – to a small store in Alert Bay this month, “knowing they will be posted on one of the two fish farms in the First Nations territory that is currently occupied by the FN people.”

Amadea de Wit, Grade 11 student at Southridge, holds 'Stay Wild' signs

De Wit told Peace Arch News by email that she made the signs in response to a call on Facebook by biologist Alexandra Morton, who has campaigned for years for an end to ocean-based aquaculture.

“As you know, a lot of research is going on right now in B.C. about the impact that fish farms are having on our wild salmon runs,” de Wit said.

“My hope is that one day soon these farms will all be on land and not in our oceans.”

De Wit said Morton “assured us that (the signs) will be put up on the occupied salmon farms just like the signs that have been in the background of many of her recently posted photos.”

Farmed salmon has been a controversial topic for several years, with opponents citing damage to wild stocks as among concerns, and proponents pointing to benefits including availability and price.

De Wit said GoPro footage she has seen of farmed salmon shows fish with tumours, open sores and more – cementing her resolve to keep it off of her own plate.

She described the issue of getting salmon farms out of the ocean as one that her family is passionate about, and said she wants to support the First Nation communities and Morton “who are sticking up for the wild salmon populations.”

She has also spread the word at school, through a “Ted Talk-style” speech last year, in which she spoke about the impact of fish farms on the environment.

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