Bad news for fishers

Letters

Last week’s announcement of a shutdown of recreational fishing is terrible news for coastal communities.

Our company operates a number of businesses on the coast of B.C., including sports fishing resorts and marinas. Several of these businesses will be severely impacted by this closure. Our employees will soon be dealing with guests that are unable to fulfill their plans to fish halibut, guests that in many cases travelled from great distances, at great expense, to have that experience.  We’re also dealing with cancellations. We’ll no doubt be cutting back staffing levels accordingly, resulting in a ripple effect of lost economic activity for these communities where our employees live, work and spend money.

In difficult economic times, the results of DFO’s policy are completely contradictory to the Government of Canada’s attempts to provide economic stimulus!

It’s quite simple.  The recreational sector, based on its contribution to the economy of Canada, needs more than 12 per cent of the allowable catch.  We are by no means advocating higher catch limits than what is prescribed at the beginning of each fishing season for halibut.  We just need a bigger slice of the pie to stay in business.

Our friends in the commercial sector will also argue that they need to make a living.  We wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, what has occurred by the protection of this halibut quota is that the quota holders are literally making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling their quota (which was acquired for free) every year.  Less than one third of these quota holders actually fish.  So in truth DFO is really protecting big business and quota traders, not the livelihoods of commercial fishermen.

If things don’t change, how could we interpret a perpetuation of the existing halibut allocation policy to be anything other than DFO being influenced more by big business and quota traders than by the economic and social needs of thousands in coastal communities?

As for DFO’s “Experimental Fishery,” which is essentially the recreational sector paying big business and quota traders for a right to catch some of their “gifted” halibut quota?  Surely DFO can’t be serious?

Lanny Sawchuk

Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

Oak Bay Marine Group

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

Playgrounds back in the swing of things on the West Shore

Langford, View Royal, Colwood reopen parks, playgrounds

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read