I was extremely disappointed to hear that the ‘Namgis First Nation as well as the Gwa’ala’-Nakwaxda’xw First Nation recommended to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to shut down ALL recreational AND commercial fishing on the northeastern side of Vancouver Island (in their “traditional waters”), extending from Sayward to Smith Inlet. This would mean as a resident of Port McNeill I would not be able to head out fishing.
The economic impacts to the North Island would be absolutely devastating as so much of our summer economy and feeding people’s families depend on fishing. There is NO science or data to support a full closure of all fishing in our area, none. This won’t only affect those directly involved in fishing, but hotels, restaurants, tackle shops, convenience stores, gas stations, etc. I believe all north islanders support conservation, but only when conservation is needed and scientifically backed.
The social impacts of these recommendations are just as devastating. Residents who have fished the area for years, will no longer be able to head out with their sons and daughters to put fish on their family table.
As previously mentioned, there is no science to back a claim their recommendations. My question then is, why recommend it when it would devastate so many families and people’s livelihoods in our small communities?