Friday, January 16, 2015

Council of Haida Nation seeks stop to herring fishery off Haida Gwaii

Citing ongoing concern over the level of stocks of herring in the waters of Haida Gwaii, the Council of Haida Nations has delivered a letter to the Herring Industry Advisory Board advising by public notice that the Haida Nation has declared closed the assessment area of Haida Gwaii.

The CHN letter, dated January 13th, outlines the background of a proposed DFO opening for a commercial spawn on kelp and roe herring fishery, a plan delivered in a Draft management plan of January 2nd.

Explaining that they don't believe that the herring stocks on Haida Gwaii have been rebuilt enough to support a fishery at this time, the Council of Haida Nations states its intention to resort to litigation to protect the herring, should any fishery move forward in 2015.

The key paragraph for commercial fishermen on the North Coast comes towards the end of the letter, as the Council steers the commercial fleet away from the waters of Haida Gwaii.

"We do not wish to cause undue hardship and expense to commercial fisherman, however the well-being of the herring is in all of our interests, and in the interests of future generations of fishers. For these reasons, and the fact that the Haida Nation has closed this area, fishermen should not select the Haida Gwaii major stock assessment." -- Portion of a Public Notice on the herring fishery of Haida Gwaii

The full correspondence from the Council of Haida Nations can be found here.

Background on DFO sturdy information on herring can be found here.

The moves from Haida Gwaii mark the second time this week that word of differences of opinion with DFO have been outlined.

As we reviewed on the blog on Tuesday, a Vancouver Island First Nation issued a similar closure, for similar reasons last week.

CBC Daybreak North had some more background on the Haida Gwaii situation yesterday, providing a short clip of an interview with Kim Olsen of UFAWU.

More items of interest on the issue can be found below:

News 1130-- First Nation in Haida Gwaii threatens legal action over herring roe fishery
Vancouver Province-- Haida Nation plans legal challenge if federal authorities open herring roe fishery

More on the Fishery on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be found on our archive page.

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