Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Further DFO reply

Here is Mr Kotyk's reply. Note the Skeena sockeye return is now estimated at 2.0 million, up from 1.7. This kicks in the sliding exploitation scale up to 20% up from 10%. This now rationalizes all this futher commercial effort...at least to DFO.
He mentions impacts to non-target species being monitored on a daily basis....we would guess he means the infamous Skeena Management Model that was criticized for how it was used by the ISRP...But no matter, it is a statistical model that DFO can use to produce whatever numbers fit their agenda for the season. Want steelhead impacts to be low....just pump in 'good compliance with selective measures' for the gillnetters and voila...steelhead impact problem gone. Doesnt matter that the province has stated repeatedly that the old steelhead exploitation rates are not valid anymore...and havent been for a few years. So, DFO ends up unilaterally deciding for us how much steelhead impact is OK. Thanks very much DFO.

And note the reference to 1...as in single...Fishery Officers observations leading to continuing the gillnet openings. DFO doesnt say how many gillnetters were checked during this patrol....or how many sets were timed...or the results. And how does 1 Officer cover 250 gillnetters in all of Chatham Sound and expect the public to believe his observations actually reflect the fleet performance? A totally ridiculous premise for DFO to foist on the public.

And to request we talk some more about all this when for the past 5 years discussions have gotten nowhere in lessening the steelhead bycatch problem...The 2011 season is showing us that DFO hasnt changed one bit from 2006. DFO is so good at acrewing the steelhead public....all the while smiling and asking to talk about it...nice.

Dear Mr. Douglas. I have been asked to respond to your email on behalf of the RDG.

With regards to your first point, the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan outlines a Skeena Sockeye Commercial Exploitation Rate for 2011 is a sliding scale based on an in-season estimation of the total return (page 66 of the IFMP). As of today's estimation, the total return is approximately 2.0 million fish, and therefore the exploitation ceiling is set at 20%. Commercial fishers are continued to be allowed limited access as they have yet to reach this exploitation rate, however their access is being limited to by time and gear restrictions in order to protect weak stocks, stocks of concern, and steelhead. The total catch and impacts to non-target species is being monitored on a daily basis.

Your second and third point speaks to compliance issues and please be assured that DFO Fisheries Officers are on the fishing grounds checking for compliance and undertaking enforcement action when necessary. The comments received from the Fisheries Officer reflect an observation that compliance by industry is generally quite good.

Again, speaking to your fourth and fifth points, I do encourage and invite you to participate in the weekly conference calls as they are a good means in which to obtain information as to the stock strength and decisions regarding commercial fishing opportunities as that is the best venue in which your issues can be addressed.

Thank-you again for your email.

Mel Kotyk, R.P.Bio.,

Area Director
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
PĂȘches et OcĂ©ans Canada
207- 417 Second Ave West
207-417 Seconde Avenue Ouest
Prince Rupert, B.C.
Prince Rupert, C.-B. V8J 1G8

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