How about some whine with that halibut?

I think the public is getting sick and tired of the whining from the recreational sector regarding halibut allocations.

Dear editor:

I think the public is getting sick and tired of the whining from the recreational sector regarding halibut allocations.

They claim the Minister of Fisheries has let them down.

This is nonsense considering the 25 per cent increase they just received in their total allowable catch.

The only people here who were let down are the commercial fishermen, and the people they feed.

Fishermen are a lot like farmers, who produce beef, poultry, fruit and vegetables.

Fishermen harvest salmon, crab, prawns, halibut, etc.

Without these farmers and fishermen, there would be no food on the shelf of your local grocery store, nor anything on the menu at your favourite restaurant.

Like with agricultural land, which should stay in the hands of the farmers, the vast majority of the fish should be kept in the hands of commercial fishermen.

After all, the 85 per cent of halibut harvested by the commercial fishermen is for the masses, not for the fishermen themselves.

If commercial fishermen want halibut they have to buy it like everyone else. The recreational sector has an estimated 100,000 anglers who fish halibut.

It is a small, elite group who are fishing to fill their own freezers, especially compared to the 30 million other Canadians who have no other choice but to purchase halibut from the store or at a restaurant.

That fish is provided by the commercial sector.

As for the anglers who claim to be the original conservationists, they have obviously lost their way considering they have gone over their total allowable catch for five years running by a total of 1.3 million pounds — 270,000 pounds last year alone.

This is a conservation issue. With the lack of enforcement there is wide range poaching and irresponsible fishing practises with no accountability within the recreational sector.

Six or seven years ago the Department of Fisheries told commercial fishermen unless they cleaned up their act there would be no more commercial halibut fishery.

They succeeded with lots of sacrifices.

Now with 100 percent monitoring they never exceed their total allowable catch, are accountable for all species of by-catch and have achieved a sustainable fishery.

Perhaps the same measures need to be taken by the recreational sector. This is the 21st century and accountability and conservation come first.

The days and practices of the wild west fishery are over and no longer acceptable.

This continuing argument of unfairness and push for more quota is an ill-conceived scheme by the powerful for-profit charter and lodge industry.

The unfair part is that the lodge industry harvests 70 per cent of the recreational quota while dragging the everyday recreational angler into the fight to line their own pockets.

The other unfair part is that this for-profit lodge industry is fighting to take quota from the commercial industry without compensating them, when the commercial fishermen have made huge investments in the industry.

What is wrong with one halibut a day?

If you’re still hungry you can take 200 prawns, six crab, four salmon, three ling cod, three rock fish and a bucket of clams as well.

Maybe you need a bigger boat.

Let’s hope Ottawa stops treating the recreational sector like a bad parent treats an unruly child- they gave in once to the complaining but it’s time to say: No more.

Skye Johnston

Courtenay B.C.

 

Just Posted

Port Harvey bylaw lands in supreme court

Property owners attempt to quash zoning bylaw allowing shipyard

Council requests Port McNeill Kids in Motion follow donation policy

“I think because we put all this work into our new donation policy, people should be filling it out.”

Port Alice gets a Frigon sign

“A beautiful scenic drive awaits on the Frigon Road.”

Students solve crimes in forensics workshops

Geneskool visits PHSS and Eke Me-Xi

Mayor says there is still ample time for town to form marijuana committee

“We could have started a year ago and still perhaps been in the same place.”

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

PHOTOS: Police rescue baby seal found on rocky B.C. shoreline

Marina Mammal Rescue Centre recommends residents observe from a distance

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Most Read