Salmon people, community fisherfolk, and organizers with the Alaska Big Village Network and Block Corporate Salmon are taking ongoing action to protest the ecocidal actions by well known fish certifiers, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.
On Saturday, Dec 11th they protested outside of Whole Foods Market in downtown Seattle, raising awareness about factory trawler bycatch and its impact on wild salmon.
Backbone Campaign’s newest Community Supported Organizer,Carl Wassilie, helped lead the action, deploying Backbone’s inflatable salmon and banners, to protest the greenwashing of “sustainable seafood.”
“For Indigenous Peoples, the eco-cidal fishing practices of the mega-industrial factory trawling industry is causing irreparable harm. Many are demanding a stop to the bycatch of subsistence resources to prevent the continued genocide of Indigenous peoples. Alaska's Big Village Network already has concerns on equity and inclusion of Tribes and Indigenous Peoples on the overarching federal codes and policy regime of fisheries management, but the focus here is on the greenwashing of 'sustainable fishing' to manipulate the fishing market at the expense of ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in the North Pacific and Bering Sea who fish for subsistence,” said Nikos Pastos, Environmental Sociologist at the National Tribal Emergency Management Council and part of the Alaska Big Village Network.
Trawlers are responsible for over 141 million pounds of bycatch a year, including Halibut, King Salmon, Chum Salmon, and many more; while Indigenous communities are suffering losses to harvest fish for subsistence and cultural survival.
This action is part of a larger movement to stop the privatization of the ocean and shift fisheries policy to work for fishing communities, not multinational corporations. It is also to bring awareness to certifications that are designed to be marketing tools for the industry to hide its bad practices, harms consumers, communities, and long-term ocean habitat.