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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Some north Island forest service roads to get a minor facelift with COVID-19 recovery funding

Side Bay access road no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to temporary budget increase

Port Hardy’s top cop says goodbye, last day will be Oct. 30

‘I want to pause, reflect, and give thanks for my experiences and time given here’

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Port McNeill mayor elected as Director at Large with UBCM

Gaby Wickstrom ran for one of five spots against 13 other candidates

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Three years for serial bank robber who hit southern Vancouver Island branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Abbotsford, Sidney and Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read