Nathan Cullen spoke at the 2018 DFO post season review on Dec. 7. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Nathan Cullen spoke at the 2018 DFO post season review on Dec. 7. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

This year was tough for fishermen in northwest B.C., and while the stewards of the fishing industry hope that 2019 will bring improvements, they understand there are still many challenges to overcome.

“We’re hopeful that we won’t necessarily see the same kind of crisis-like conditions as this year, but we’re still looking at a grim situation for the coming year,” said Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) North Coast area director Colin Masson. “It might not be as bad as last year, but it’s still going to be difficult and these discussions are really important for moving forward.”

Masson presented at DFO’s annual post-season review on Dec. 6 and 7. The review is a gathering of all parties with a stake or interest in how key decisions were made regarding fish stock in the northwest over the past year.

Indigenous groups, technical committees from the Skeena Fishing Commission and commercial and recreational fishing representatives were all present at the review and had opportunities to ask questions about the 2018 season.

Masson said the sweeping fishing closures in the northwest were the primary topic of conversation over the review’s two days, and he received feedback on the topic. The feedback from these discussion will be compiled to help contribute to the planning process for 2019.

Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley was present for the second day of the review. He said he had heard a lot of the same things from people in attendance, and felt there was a general understanding of the situation and a willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to improve it.

READ MORE: Salmon closures a devastating blow to North Coast business

“We need to restore abundance,” he said. “We need to get back to a place where we’re not fighting over a couple hundred fish here and there.”

Cullen said achieving that abundance would take a long, stable and committed effort as well as providing DFO with the resources to properly manage the fisheries.

“We need in-season, real time assessment of what’s happening in the fishery so that decisions are made quicker and more accurately,” he said, adding that when this capacity is not present, costly mistakes can be made.

Cullen also said that the industry’s next generation of fishermen face more barriers than their predecessors. Citing owner-operator licences as an example, Cullen said changes could be made in policy that would help to level the playing field.

“If you own a fishing licence, you should fish the fishing licence. That’s the reality on the East Coast, but DFO doesn’t have that policy on the West Coast,” he said. “That’s the thing, returning the benefits back to the communities who are the stewards of this resource.”

READ MORE: DFO contemplating sweeping North Coast salmon fishery closure



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DFO

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

Just Posted

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

Most Read