Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vancouver Sun article on fishing industry

Fishing Industry and Young People article

Just came across an interesting article on the lack of young people entering commercial fishing as an occupation and....yikes....our government's interest in changing this trend.

The reasons behind the trend seem obvious; a dying barely viable industry; uncertain prospects for actually 'working' due to conservation, fish stock trends, etc etc. Why would any young person be interested in investing time and money in an occupation so fraught with uncertainty as commercial fishing? On the north coast, a gillnetter might have 2 weeks 'work' all summer...and that's in a good fish return year. Then the actual value of the prodcut has fallen sharply also. The returns dont justify the investment. Moreover, the current fleet is probably consists of longtime fishers who either cant get out or have chosen to keep doing it for almost recreational purposes.

Just look at the paradigm shift on the north coast: probably half the sportfishing charter boat guys are ex-commercial fishermen. They realized the downward trend of commercial fishing  was steep and unlikely to turn around so they chose to work sportfishing charters all summer at a $1000+ per day over commercial fishing time measured in days.

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