Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Commercial sector blames the sportfishery for their woes

We didnt notice this until today, but check out last weeks Northern View newspaper article about the commercial fishermen protesting in DFO's offices in Prince Rupert.
The article goes on to present the fishermen's views that the upriver sportfishery is to blame for their woes. Here's a direct quote from the article copied below.

Noting that the commercial fishery has dropped from over 1,400 boats to 258 boats in a decade, making an average of $3,500 each, Thorkelson said the fishermen sent a message that they wouldn’t just sit idly by as a large number of fish that could be harvested go by. And, she said, much of the blame for the current situation sits on the shoulders of the upstream sport fishery and environmental groups.

“The DFO policy seems to be bowing to the sport fishery, who have put the DFO under the microscope and are using conservation concerns to push their agenda,” she said.

“Our fishermen don’t want to fish under escapement levels, but we know it would be easy for the department to keep the fishery closed for a few extra days to appease the up-river sport fishery, who just want the commercial fleet gone.”

Rather than focus on the Skeena sockeye run being below basic escapement levels as the reason they are not allowed to fish, the commercial sector looks to lay blame on any other possible factors, most notably criticising DFO for "...pandering to the sports sector."

Image by Lisa Letnes © Northern View Newspaper

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