Monday, July 15, 2013

DFO takes issue with Northern View crab closure coverage

The first public response from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the percolating crab fishery controversy on the North Coast, came by way of a letter to the editor of the Northern View, published on Wednesday.

In the letter, Mel Kotyk, the Director for the North Coast Area, took issue with the tone of a July 3rd article in the Northern View, suggesting that the writer, appears to have dismissed information from Fisheries and Oceans Canada regarding the topic of data collection and the crab fishery.

What's not clear from the letter, is if they are referring to the front page article from Shaun Thomas, or the editorial opinion piece from Editor Todd Hamilton. So to provide for a bit of background on the DFO concerns, below we have links to both items of interest on the theme.

Northern View-- Fishermen outraged by "unjustified" closure (N View e edition pages 1 and 2)
Northern View--  Wise decisions aren't made based on a lack of date (N View e edition pageA4)

In addition, DFO also expressed concerns over the observation in the paper that the closure came as a surprise to harvesters, calling that perception as inaccurate. As part of the response, Kotyk detailed how over the last ten years, as part of a management plan closures between March and August are not uncommon.

The controversial move to shut down the Crab fishery on the North Coast resulted in a crab fisherman protest two weeks ago and has been the subject of discussion at Prince Rupert City Council as well.

You can review the Letter to the Editor from DFO from the image above or  from the Northern View's e edition (page A5)

Our past item on the controversy can be found here.

The dispute between DFO and the crab industry has also caught the news cycle of other locations in British Columbia, some of their reviews can be found below.

July 10-- B. C. crab fishermen losing money as season opens late
July 10-- Crabbers withdraw survey support ( N View e edition pg A2)
July 9-- B. C. Dungeness crab fishermen angered by fishery closure
July 9-- Closing of B. C. Dungeness crab fishery sparks anger
July 9-- Crab fishermen pinched by closure
July 8-- Crab Closure Protest (video)
July 8-- BC crab fishermen boiling at DFO closure order
July 1-- Crab closure frustrates North Coast fishermen
June 29-- Crab fishermen set up blockade at DFO office in Prince Rupert
June 28-- Crab Fishermen Picket DFO Office in Prince Rupert
June 28-- B. C. North Coast crab fishermen fear economic disaster from unexpected closure

For a larger overview on some of the issues of the North Coast fishery, check out our Fishing Industry Archive here.

Update: The Northern View provided coverage of the DFO concerns in their July 17 e edition.

July 17-- DFO defends dungeness fishery closure (N View e edition pg 17)

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