Mayor asks Harper to re-examine halibut quotas

It has come to the attention of the council of the District of Kitimat that the allocation of the pacific halibut resource to the sport fishing sector is inadequate to provide the type of sport fishing opportunities necessary to maintain and grow a sport fishing industry in the Pacific North Coast region areas of British Columbia.

Dear prime minister,

It has come to the attention of the council of the District of Kitimat that the allocation of the pacific halibut resource to the sport fishing sector is inadequate to provide the type of sport fishing opportunities necessary to maintain and grow a sport fishing industry in the Pacific North Coast region areas of British Columbia.

The primary target species for ocean sport fishing are salmon and halibut.  

It is therefore essential to dedicate a sufficient portion of the sustainable fisheries resource to attract growing participation in recreational sport fishing.

Council understands that the current allocation for Pacific halibut is 12 per cent of the sustainable resource.  This allocation was set in year 2003.  

Since that time, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has reduced the catch limits and season openings for sport fishers in order to stay within this allocation.  

However, the reduced catch limits and season openings are undermining the attractiveness of recreational  opportunities to sport fishers and therefore jeopardize important recreation and tourist opportunities.

In order to promote sport fishing, council asks that the allocation of the sustainable Pacific halibut resource be increased to allow catch limits of two per day with a possession limit of four halibut, and that season closures be kept to an absolute minimum.

I want to thank you for your attention to this important matter and I remain,

Yours in public service,

Joanne Monaghan,

Mayor,

District of Kitimat.