For anyone involved in the “recreational” sports fishing industry on the BC Coast, namely Vancouver Island and the Vancouver area, it would be an understatement to say that there are feelings of desperation and disappointment with the changes to the 2019 fishing regulations over the concerns of Fraser River Chinook. That concern is founded in the uncertainty of how this will impact the $1+ billion industry—the businesses, the communities, and the families who depend on tourism-based sport fishing.
Minister Wilkinson took a hardline approach with the 2019-2020 recreational regulations announcing on his Facebook page that, “Our new measures are critical to the future of Chinook stocks and to the futures of Indigenous and coastal communities who rely on them for sustenance, jobs and economic prosperity.”
Now, the other shoe is about to drop, as the SKRW Recovery Action threatens closures in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Gulf Islands, and the mouth of the Fraser River.
In the ongoing “consultation” between the public and the Department of Fisheries (DFO), 3 meetings have been set up for the pubic to attend and to say their piece. For those concerned with the DFO’s proposed approach, it would be wise to attend.
Victoria (Facebook event link)
April 23, 2019. 6:00PM–9:00PM (Doors open at 5:00PM)
Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa
1999 Country Club Way
Victoria, BC V9B 6R3
Sooke (Facebook event link)
April 24, 2019 6:00PM–9:00PM (Doors open at 5:00PM)
6929 Sooke Rd.
Sooke, BC V9Z 0V1
Vancouver (Facebook event link)
April 25, 2019 6:00PM–9:00PM (Doors open at 5:00PM)
Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport
7311 Westminster Hwy
Richmond, BC V6X 1A3
According to the April 12 document, Overview of Potential Measures for 2019, the timeline for the SKRW Recovery Action is coming to an end with a decision to be made and announced in May.
The primary measures include:
- Area-base, seasonal fishery closures which include potential refinement of closures implemented in 2018 .
- Fishery Avoidance Zones which mean restriction of recreational and “where possible” commercial fishing within a set distance of SRKW (e.g. 1KM).
At this time, the public is being offered an opportunity to consult on a scenario A and B option for certain regions.
Strait of Juan de Fuca / Swiftsure Bank
Mouth of the Fraser
Small Vessel Management Measures
Commercial Vessel Noise Measures
The SFAC, sport fishing clubs, fishing retail stores, fishing guides etc. need to take a leadership role in promoting more CPR (catch – photo – release). Us older fishers have developed a “taste” for retention but we can start promoting the culture of releasing, at least a portion, of our catches to the younger generation.
These proposals are totally unacceptable because it dose not take into consideration the economic hardship on the south coast sport fishing communities nor does it address the overabundance of seals and sea lions that are decimating all the salmon stocks as they return to spawn as well as the smolts as they head out to sea.
Economic hardship is not a factor that should be considered. It is not a species sustainability factor. It is a red herring.
I prudent businessman carefully considers the risks. There are obvious risks to consider when investing in a charter fishing business or business partly dependent on sports fishing.
I had this add emailed to me the other day,I couldn’t believe what I was reading.I was told that this has been known about for sometime but nothing has ever been done about it. Definitely doesn’t help….
Right on Bernie!