Tom Sewid photo

Tom Sewid photo

LETTER: Port Hardy Bay is not a historic sea otter area

‘Our ancestors knew that apex predators of marine resources could not live in harmony together’

Dear editor,

This is a picture showing one of a few large rafts of sea otters in Port Hardy Bay. Unique to say the least these cute looking round eye whisker faces bobbing in the waves. Oh how many are enthralled they are making it back to historic numbers and re-populating historic areas!

Stop right there! Port Hardy Bay is not a historic sea otter area. The books from early explorers and ships log books speak of the truth. European hunters would be paddling for most of the day to sea otters with their First Nations guides in their canoes. They state the sea otter rafts were many leagues from the villages (1 league is 3 miles).

Our ancestors knew that apex predators of marine resources could not live in harmony together. They knew that humans, sea otters combined in their harvests for food, would decimate the marine resources. A balance between humans and animals would not take place; many marine resources would disappear from overharvest.

This is why it’s well documented that in close proximity to our seasonal or permanent Indian villages, all sea otters were harvested. In doing this, our ancestors had ample resources of fin fish, shellfish and crustaceans (crabs) close to where they were living.

As we all know with over-protectionism, this is not the case throughout northern Vancouver Island.

We commercial, sport, indigenous fishers as well as locals know all too well that our marine resources are collapsing due to sea otter, fish eating birds, seals and sea lion overpopulation.

My fellow First Nations, Pacific Balance Marine Management has resources and funding to help you kick-start your ecosystem management for the betterment of your marine resources.

We help you get your traditional harvests up and going to help bring balance back to our waters.

Tom Sewid,

President of Pacific Balance Marine Management

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