CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C – Chief John Smith of the Tlowitsis Nation has a message for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.   

According to a press release from the B.C Salmon Farmer’s Association (BCSFA), the Sea Shepherd has been “harassing” salmon farmers for the past two summers.

Founder of the Sea Shepherd Society, Paul Watson, denied the claim.

“Well, they’re lying. We haven’t been harassing anybody,” he said.

“And if we have, why don’t they have us charged?”

The First Nation’s chief said he’d already requested that they stay away.

“I sent a letter to the Sea Shepherd Society last year asking them not to come to our traditional territory, and their response was that under marine law they can come anywhere they want,” said Tlowitsis Chief John Smith, in the press release.

“I have a message for them. Stay away from our territory, and our partners farms. You are not invited here,” he said.

According to Watson, his team has the right to be here.  

“We have the right of free navigation anywhere we go in British Columbian waters. But we’re also there as guests of First Nations, and where they wish to go we will assist them to go.”

Watson said the team will be continuing research in the area this summer.  

2day FM has reached out to the BCSFA for further comment.