Controversial salmon catch

Amid ongoing controversy over mismanagement of the commercial herring fisher

Vancouver ­— Amid ongoing controversy over mismanagement of the commercial herring fishery, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is facing fresh criticism for proposing to increase the catch of endangered salmon. The Watershed Watch Salmon Society calls the proposals in the draft 2015 Integrated Fisheries Management Plan “unnecessary concessions to a small group of narrow commercial interests.”

“The Department is not honouring its own Wild Salmon Policy, which prioritizes the conservation of wild salmon, not fishing companies,” said Aaron Hill, Executive Director at Watershed Watch. “The commercial fleet is already allowed plenty of fishing opportunities, and these changes just go too far.”

Under the proposed changes for 2015, fishermen would increase their take of sockeye returning to the Skeena and Fraser Rivers, as well as endangered Interior Fraser River coho. The Fraser and Skeena sockeye runs include several endangered stocks that swim alongside identical-looking fish from larger, healthier runs. The endangered coho are caught incidentally in fisheries targeting other species like sockeye, pink, and chinook salmon.

The proposals to increase salmon catches come as a large and unprecedented warming event unfolds in the North Pacific Ocean, causing mass die-offs of marine animals. Moreover, several parts of B.C. are facing record low snow-packs. It all adds up to create serious challenges for wild salmon.  “It’s one thing to fish hard when environmental conditions are favourable for the fish,” said Hill, “but looking at these conditions is like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. This is not the time to be increasing the level of risk for our salmon.”

Conservation groups, recreational anglers, and several First Nations trying to rebuild at-risk salmon stocks in their territories have voiced opposition to the proposals. For years many of these groups have been urging the Department to increase fishing opportunities in areas where large, healthy salmon runs can be targeted without impacting endangered runs.

“We could sustainably harvest more salmon from the runs that come back strong by using the right gear in the right places,” said Greg Taylor, a fisheries consultant and former fishing company executive, “but DFO is proposing to allow more fishing using the wrong gear in the wrong places. The result will be more pressure on endangered runs and another year of lost opportunities to create a truly sustainable salmon fishing industry here in B.C.”

“We’re inviting British Columbians to join with us by voicing their own comments and support for wild salmon,” concluded Hill.

The deadline for public comments is April 13.

 

Just Posted

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read