The Department of Oceans and Fisheries should have announced the start of the sport halibut fishery on South Vancouver Island today.
Instead, the fishing industry is left asking questions to the government about when they can get back to work. Today, MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) joined them by demanding that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans start providing answers.
Garrison has met with representatives of the local sport halibut fishing industry including recreational fishers, small business and guide outfitters. All are awaiting and planning for the traditional February first start date of this fishery. Small businesses are losing income and guides are losing bookings because DFO is not able to inform the public when or if the halibut fishery is going to open.
“I have met with local fishers, guides and fishing lodge operators who are awaiting word on the opening. I have written to the Minister and spoken to his office requesting a meeting on this – and been refused. Why is the government harming small businesses in South Vancouver Island by not telling the public when this season will begin?” asked Garrison.