Protect our fishery

 

As a native of Nova Scotia, I witnessed first hand the privatization and demise of the East Coast cod fishery. The recent policy decision of the Conservative Government regarding West Coast halibut allocation is the start towards the end of what we consider our right to a common property resource.

Rather than receiving  a fixed limit per day and a fixed season, recreational fishers have been allocated 12 per cent of the Canadian quota.

When the quota runs out, as early as August as some have forecast, the season will end. Coastal communities dependent on recreational fishing tell me they will be severely hurt and individual recreational fishers from Prince Rupert to Esquimalt will be denied their right to fish.

The Fisheries Act implies that fishing is not a right but a privilege granted by the Minister. The Minister has decided to grant 88 per cent of Canada’s halibut to a few individuals, many that do not actually fish themselves.

I believe that firstly, our federal government should purchase enough quota back from the commercial sector to provide for a basic limit and season that would enhance our coastal community’s economy and re-establish our citizens’ right to a common property resource.

The recreational sector believes that limit should be two halibut per day and annual season excluding only the month of January.

Secondly, I believe any quota owned in the commercial sector should be fished by the quota owner.

Allowing halibut quota owners to lease their quota to other commercial fishers only adds to the costs of real fishers and does nothing to provide economic stability to the fishery.

I am not a halibut fisher but I do know the recreational fishers of our community are not ready to give up on their livelihoods. It is time the government changed the halibut allocation policy to reflect best interests and the common property rights of the West Coast communities.

Lillian Szpak

Federal Liberal Candidate for the Riding of Esquimalt Juan de Fuca

 

 

Just Posted

Passengers bound for Victoria say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Third Victoria person pricked by needle in past week

Police say this one appears to have been deliberately placed

Sooke swim team competes well at end-of-year meet

The Tyee Aquatic Club finished off 2017 strong, as multiple swimmers beat… Continue reading

Police in brief: Teens nabbed for pot smoking near Oak Bay cop shop

Yacht club thefts, fireworks found and wakeful arrest in Oak Bay this week

Police ticket driver after van found perched on logs near Esplanade in Oak Bay

Ticket issued for Drive Without Consideration with a fine of $196

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Cougars clipped by Bucs, remain tied for first in South

Victoria junior B puck squad neck and neck with Saanich

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Victoria hits the road after weekend wins over Kamloops

Western Hockey League club in Portland on Wednesday night

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Most Read