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

The Port McNeill Fire Hall. (Port McNeill Fire Rescue photo)
Port McNeill Fire Rescue gets big financial boost from government

Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom was thrilled by the funding announcement

The river behind the ball field. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Pulled by the flow: river stirs up childhood memories

Gazette editor makes trek through Port Hardy wilderness to swim in the river

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Alert Bay council has decided to cancel Canada Day celebrations. (Alertbay.ca photo)
Alert Bay council cancels Canada Day celebrations

The decision was made in wake of the mass graves being found at former residential schools

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read