An adult Chinook salmon swims in Ship Creek in Anchorage in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

An adult Chinook salmon swims in Ship Creek in Anchorage in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

25 MPs co-sign letter asking DFO to open mark selective Chinook fishery

Blaney, Singh, May and Johns among signatories to letter

Members of Parliament from B.C. have co-signed a letter calling for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to enable a mark selective chinook fishery for the 2021 public fishing season.

The goal of the letter, which was signed by North Island and Powell River MP Rachel Blaney among others, is to ask the minister to enable the fishery, where hatchery fish are marked by removing their adipose fin. Fishers are able to keep mature fish caught without their fins, which protects wild stocks in the area.

Signatories to the letter to Minister Jordan include Blaney, NDP fisheries critic and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, NDP leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh, as well as six other NDP MPs, thirteen Conservative MPs, and two Green MPs.

“From the Tyee Club in Campbell River, to the guides and tackle shops in communities from Powell River to Port Hardy, to parents and grandparents teaching kids how to catch a meal, the public fishery is such an important part of life on the coast,” said Blaney. “A mark selective fishery for chinook salmon would ensure these cultural, recreational and economic activities can continue, while needed conservation measures are in place to protect endangered wild salmon stocks.”

According to Blaney’s website set up to let people sign their names to support the idea, “there is already a mark selective fishery for coho on the southern B.C. coast, and for chinook in Washington and Oregon to sustain wild stocks and opportunities in the public fisheries.”

“There has never been a time where the ability of individuals to provide for their own food security in a safe manner has been more relevant or necessary,” stated the letter. “We believe that it is possible and necessary for mark selective Chinook fisheries to be implemented in a manner that supports restoration and conservation of Pacific salmon, especially at-risk populations. Therefore, we are asking you to support mark selective fisheries that are properly designed, implemented, and monitored to prevent unintended impacts on unmarked or untargeted fish of wild origin.”

People can add their name to in support by visiting https://rachelblaney.ndp.ca/publicfishery.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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