Tuesday, March 31, 2015

No bounty of jobs from herring fishery for local shore workers

While the topic of the herring fishery is proving to be controversial on Haida Gwaii and the Central coast, for the North Coast the season is in full swing as we head into April.

As most residents of Prince Rupert have no doubt noticed this past week, a large volume of transport trucks have started to make their annual trek from the city's remaining fish plants, destined for industrial popping locations in the Lower Mainland or off shore.

An ongoing issue of concern that Councillor Joy Thorkelson raised with Council members last Monday evening.

Ms. Thorkelson made use of time at the end of the council session to provide an update to the community on the current status of that herring fishery, calling attention to the continued process of trucking the frozen herring to locations outside of the North Coast for further processing.

That shift from the past practice of local popping, she observed has resulted in a number of job losses to the community as shore workers remain at home without work, as the product caught in northern waters is transported south or taken off shore for further processing.

She pointed to a change in regulations by the Federal Government as the main cause for the shift in processing procedures for the industry.

This year she estimates that the practice of shipping the herring out of town for further processing, mainly to non-union plants she observed, has resulted in sixty to eighty local workers losing out on roughly six weeks of work.

The practice of shipping product out of the city, has made for a shift in the direction for the local fishery, one that has had a significant impact on what once was a key portion of the local fish processing industry in the community.

You can review her presentation to council on the issue from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the one hour thirty five minute mark and continues on for about a minute.

For more items related to City Council discussions see our archive page here, we also have a page dedicated to items regarding fishery issues which you can access here.

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