Thursday, August 19, 2010

DFO and Commercial non-compliance

We've always criticised DFO for being too soft on the commercial fleet in the north and now here's an example of how DFO handles commercial fleet non-compliance on the south coast.
On the south coast, fisheries openings are governed by, amongst other things, the information received from fishing boats DFO charters to do 'test fishing'.

Fishery notices describe how important this process is and outline potential actions if they are not given priority access to fishing areas.

Well, here is an example of non-compliance by the fleet and the DFO penalty....Instead of opening at the normal 0600am...the fishery will now open 0900 because of the non-compliance...Wow, what a stringent will the fishers ever recover from losing a whole 3 hours of fishing time..?? Guess, they get to sleep in that day.

Seriously, how does a light penalty like this encourage compliance within the fleet? It almost rewards poor behaviour because the benefits of non-compliance outweigh the penalties.

And, interstingly enough, werent these new ITQ...quota fisheries...supposed to make an even playing field for everyone and eliminate the wild west apsect of these openings? What advantage does crowding out a test fishing boat gain a non-compliant boat if you are on a preset quota system? And why penalize all the fleet if only a few boats are engaging in that type of activity?

Seems like a poor overall enforcement performance from DFO on this on....but that's par for the course.

Category(s): COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine
Subject: FN0676-COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine - Area B - Area 12 - Fraser River Sockeye - Daily opening


Further to FN667, due to commercial seine fleet interference with test fishing
assessments in the test fishing zone in Subarea 12-3, the daily Area B fishing
time that will be permitted in Subarea 12-3 has been changed to 09:00 hours to
21:00 hours daily.

Area 12 (Upper Johnstone Strait)
Subarea 12-3 only:
Seine fishing permitted daily from 09:00 hours until 21:00 hours until and
including Friday August 20.

Variation Order No. 2010-CR-SN-014

Vessel masters are reminded that test fishing vessels will be operating during
the fishery in Areas 12 and 13. In Subarea 12-3, the daily start time for Area
B has been changed to 09:00 hours from 06:00 hours, additional measures may be
required if there are compliance issues. In-season test fishing assessment
information in the marine approach areas is critical in estimating abundances
of returning Fraser River sockeye stocks and identifying available harvest
levels. Commercial fisheries must be structured and scheduled to ensure that
test fishing assessment information is not compromised. In Areas and times when
commercial seine fishing is open, priority access is required for the seine
test boats in the area where there are designated test fishing locations. When
a seine test fishing vessel is arriving to a designated test fishing location
to make a set and while making the set, vessels must provide priority access to
this seine test vessel. Fishing at this location can occur once the seine test
vessel rings are up. For further details, refer to Appendix D of the Area B and
Area H Fraser Sockeye ITQ Fishery 2010 Guidelines provided in the Area B
license package. If there is poor compliance identified on the grounds
additional closures will be implemented within the test fishing area. For more
information please contact the on-grounds Charter Patrol or the DFO contact
listed below.

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