Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Herring season arrives and as the fish rolls in, the trucks (and jobs) roll out

Trucks stand ready to receive their loads, as the 2018 Herring season gets
underway, unfortunately for local shore workers, the majority of the work
on this years fishery will be taking place at the
Canadian Fish Home plant located in Vancouver

The arrival of the 2018 herring season has once again delivered a growing volume of tractor trailers to the east side of the city, with the Canadian Fish Plant on George Hills Way becoming almost a truck rodeo, as trucks and trailers juggle positions at the various loading docks of the facility.

Much of the volume of those trucks is heading out of town, with tote upon tote of frozen herring, destined for the lower mainland for further processing, a lasting image of jobs leaving the city with each departing refrigerated trailer.

The days of an extensive herring operation taking place in Prince Rupert and the boost to the local economy that those times brought, are now placed somewhat deeper into the history books of the fishery on the North Coast.

The new reality for local shore-workers found in an item posted to the UFAWU-Unifor Facebook page, which on Sunday made note of the start of the herring fishery and along with it, the opportunity for local shore-workers to work this years harvest  ... that is, if they are willing to travel to Vancouver to do so.

The nature of the herring season on the North Coast seems custom fit for the recent concerns expressed by UFAWU-Unifor when it comes to fish that is caught in North Coast waters and a stock that should be processed in local plants.

That concept for the North Coast industry has been one that has picked up some momentum in the region in recent months, with the topic raised both at the provincial and local level.

MP Nathan Cullen joins the debate over DFO plans for summer fishing season
Commercial fishing makes for theme of latest Fish Notes in Legislature from MLA Rice
Call from MLA for Legislature support for commercial fishermen in BC
City Council's letter for Fisheries Minister a call for equal treatment with Atlantic Canada

The topic has received much in the way of discussion, letter writing and commentary from  local politicians pushing for some kind of change to be made to the current oversight on the industry.

That attention to the issue is surely a welcome thing, particularly for those that have worked and would like to continue to work in the fishing industry in the region.

Though all of the talk is of little immediate help to those sitting on the sidelines for another North Coast herring season, with many no doubt worried about what may come in three months time when it comes to the state of the salmon fishery.

More items of note related to the fishing industry on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

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

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