Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Local MP fights for commercial fishery


From the same issue of the Northern View newspaper, here is an article about the local Member of Parliament criticising the Dept of Fisheries and Oceans for mismanaging the commercial fishing industry.
It is unbelieveable that MP Nathan Cullen would support the present industry regime. Even cutting some slack for his socialist leanings, how anyone could support the continuation of a heavily subsidized barely viable industry that negatively impacts both wild salmon stocks and other more sustainable and successful industries, like the sportfishng tourism industry, we find really hard to believe.

Mr Cullen criticizes the DFO stating “If you wanted to design a way to kill the commercial fishery, this government is doing it.”

And he continues by listing the grievances “It’s more misery on top of misery for the North Coast commercial fishing industry, and the DFO seems hell-bent on watching the commercial fishery die a slow death. It’s not just in the catch allocation, but in the license fees they pile upon the fleet and the EI system the government has in place.”

So does Mr Cullen think DFO should magically make fish return from the ocean in catchable numbers every year? Does Mr Cullen think the taxpayer should cover the costs of managing this barely viable industry? Does Mr Cullen think it is alright for fishermen to work a few weeks over the summer and then collect EI for the rest of the year?
It sure appears that way from the article...Where is Mr Cullen's concern for the fish stocks themselves or the upriver First Nations who rely on fish for food, or the sportfishery which contributes far more to the northwest economy than the commercial fishery?
Time for Mr Cullen to broaden his perspective on north coast fisheries issues and get away from the myopic trade union rhetoric about jobs over fish.

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