Friday, August 05, 2011

Enough already! Commercial effort 2011

For what was forecast to be an average to below average year for most species of salmon on the north coast, the Department has sure made the most if it for the commercial fishermen.
By our count, they are up to 37 gillnet openings spread out over Areas 3,4,5,6,8, and 10. The seine days count is 18 spread out over Areas 3,4,6,and 8.

That totals 55 days of commercial fishing on the north coast this summer. In the DFO jargon of 'boats days' ( how many boats participate in a given opening) the totals are 200 seine boat days and 1780 gillnet boat days of effort.

Now, we are all for a viable, sustainable commercial fishing industry on the north coast but enough is enough. Extending massive commercial effort into August inflicts substantial damage on valuable Skeena steelhead, coho, and depressed chum salmon stocks.

According to DFO's own management hierarchy, commercial and sport sectors are supposed to be managed equally. We dont see how allowing additional fishing time into mid-August follows this policy as clearly the steelhead recreational sector will come out on the short end of this equation.

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