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

Just Posted

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Tsartlip canoe team pulls for international glory in Australia

Geronimo Canoe Club paddles to Victoria to kick-start fundraising

Average housing prices would have to drop by $413,000 for Victoria to become affordable

Alternatively, salaries need to increase to $134,000 per year, more than double current levels

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Most Read