Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NCSA Letter to DFO Area Director

Here is an email we sent to DFO Area Director earlier this morning....And lo and behold just minutes ago a Fishery Notice came out announcing another Skeena gillnet opening....with any selective measures noticeably absent

Hello Mel,
I see the Tyee sockeye numbers have improved again and with this the Department is probably thinking of sanctioning more commercial openings in Area 4. At the same time we note steelhead numbers are tracking below the ten year average with no outlook of sudden improvement.

When is the Department going to consider steelhead in the management of these commercial openings? Why are no selective measures such as the short set/short net technique mandated on the gillnetters?

Waiting for a 'conservation concern' prior to implementing selective measures seems a bit unfair to the sportfishing sector. Where is the precautionary approach? Again, the Department's double standard is showing: you arbitrarily dictate the success of the steelhead sportfishing season while actively working with industry to maximize their opportunity. We thought the two activities were supposed to be managed equally in your management hierarchy?

Note, in the attached graph the poor Skeena steelhead returns so far in 2011. Please amend any commercial openings to take this reduced return into consideration.
Thank you very much.

Keith Douglas
North Coast Steelhead Alliance
Smithers, BC

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