Haida Gwaii Ocean Dump Project Leader Fired, But First Nation Still Backs It

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John Disney has been appointed the interim CEO of an ocean fertilization project to save salmon near Haida Gwaii. (Canadian Press) | CP

OLD MASSETT, B.C. - The California businessman behind a controversial ocean fertilization project off B.C.'s west coast has been fired, but the group behind the project says it still supports the concept.

Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation says it has removed Russ George as a director and terminated his employment as an officer of the Haida Gwaii-based corporation.

But newly-appointed interim CEO John Disney says the company remains confident in the iron dumping technology, while recognizing "process and buy-in are key".

One hundred metric tonnes of iron dust was dumped into the ocean off Haida Gwaii last summer, prompting global condemnation and an Environment Canada investigation.

Supporters believe dumping iron will cause a phytoplankton bloom that could help feed salmon and create profits from carbon capture, while critics warn of potentially widespread and severe impacts on west coast waters.

In a news release announcing George's firing, Old Massett Village Chief Councillor Ken Rea says the community will recalibrate the business to move forward and respond to legitimate concerns.


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