Size doesn’t matter, say sport fishermen: weighing in on halibut controversy

Dear editor

The comments made by Port Alice Councillor Don Vye in regards to the “Halibut allocation debate”, demonstrate his complete lack of understanding of this important issue. He suggests that the issue has been caused by recreational anglers catching “trophy” halibut, but he fails to acknowledge that commercial anglers receive a premium from buyers for bigger fish, and on average catch larger fish!

Amongst all the smoke and mirrors, the real issue is the inability of our decision makers to develop an acceptable mechanism, by which portions of a common property resource can be equitably transferred, from one user group to another. It’s about “allocation“, not “conservation“,  our halibut stocks are indeed very healthy.

Recreational anglers have been asking DFO to fulfill its promises and allocate a greater portion of a common property resource to the next generation of Canadians. I wonder if Mr. Vye understands that the Recreational and First Nations allocation’s are the only portions of the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) guaranteed to be owned by Canadians in perpetuity? The rest can be monopolized by big business and sold to foreign interests, there is no clause preventing this from happening!

In 2008 during the “Gordon Process“, all stakeholders (Recreational, First Nations and Commercial) agreed on the mechanism of a “Halibut Stamp”, by which to raise funds and purchase more quota for the recreational sector, we actually had “consensus“. This mechanism was subsequently rejected by the treasury board for reasons not fully explained, but apparently we can have a stamp for salmon, go figure.

Now DFO is determined to see Canadians “lease” their rights to catch a fish from a private company. What this means is that a parent who wants to take their child fishing after an “in season” closure, will have to pay the going lease rate (currently $5.00 per pound and rising) to fish for and retain Halibut. That’s right, a 25lb “Chicken” will cost you an additional $125 if you can find the quota to lease.  Don’t be surprised if this happens with other species such as Salmon, Lingcod and Shellfish. You can only imagine the devastating effects this will have on our local tourism industry.

The real culprit behind this debacle, is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Gail Shea) for not properly managing our resources, and not developing an appropriate mechanism by which to transfer quota from one sector to another. Instead she prefers to cause division within our communities, and watch us squabble amongst ourselves!

Michael Kelly

Port Hardy

 

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas says district is not backing out of multiplex project

The district will be holding a multiplex open house session Jan.29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Centre.

Port Alice trailer goes up in flames in the early morning hours

The North Island Gazette will continue to update the story with more details as it progresses.

1041 customers without power due to outages in Northern Vancouver Island

Keep following the North Island Gazette for more on the power outages.

VIDEO: Sports Talk with Tyson: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for provincials

Sports Talk with Tyson is back this week with an indepth look at the North Island Bantam Eagles.

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

No injuries after collapsed floor traps worker at former North Island mill – fire chief

Company says it’s investigating after incident at decommissioned Catalyst facility

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read