Friday, March 2, 2018

Commercial fishing makes for theme of latest Fish Notes in Legislature from MLA Rice

MLA Rice wrapped up the week the way she began it, speaking to themes
on the North Coast Fishing industry
(photo from BC Leg video feed)

It's been fish week at the Legislature, with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice making use of some of her time for Statements to explore a couple of themes on the fishing industry on the North Coast.

As we outlined on Tuesday,  her first observations provided for a short overview of last week's Ecotrust Canada hosted conference on the impact of the fishery on coastal communities.

That event which was also attended by UFAWU-Unifor President and City Councillor Joy Thorkelson as well as Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, featured a number of sessions and discussions on themes related to the fishery, as well as to look at the recently announced proposals for the  Federal Fishery Act.

Thursday morning, Ms. Rice turned her commentary towards the Commercial industry, with the MLA noting the importance of the industry in the social fabric that holds BC communities together, while providing some notes on the role of the commercial industry on the North Coast.

"In just one part of the province, the PNCIMA region, where my constituents and I live, are some of the most valuable fishing areas on Canada's Pacific coast. In 2010, the PNCIMA region yielded $415 million in wholesale value, just over half of the wild-caught marine fisheries wholesale value for the entire province.

There is more to fishing than profit margins. There are economic ripple effects, as fishermen spend money on equipment and supplies — fishing revenue spreading throughout the local businesses and local communities. Fishing also has a role in the gifting and trading of seafood, and commercial fishing vessels play a key role in this complex system. 

One fisherman may give or trade seafood to 100 other people. This food community contributes to food security in rural and remote communities. These days many fishermen are First Nations. Without the ability to commercial fish, they would not have the necessary vessels to exercise their food, social and ceremonial fishing rights and have the ability to feed elders and others in the community. 

Being a commercial fishermen is more than a job. It's a lifestyle that connects people to each other, to their communities and the surrounding environment."

As part of her commentary for the House, the North Coast MLA called attention to some of the work of Ecotrust Canada and the T. Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation, noting how their work is providing for an opportunity to re-frame fisheries policy in Canada, with a view that will benefit environmental conservatism, economic resilience and social equality.

Her presentation to the Legislature can be reviewed below:

For more items of interest related to the Fishing industry on the North Coast see our archive page here.

A look at the work of the MLA in Victoria can be reviewed on our Legislature Archive page.

A wider overview of provincial issues can be found on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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