Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Nathan Cullen updates themes on salmon season concerns for 2018

“Salmon are essential to the people of the Northwest. We must respect and protect this precious resource and now, more than ever, be guided by conservation as our watchword.” -- From MP Nathan Cullen 's comments on the Northwest fishery on Tuesday

Skeena Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen has provided for a number of themes related to the state of the upcoming salmon season, with the MP issuing a statement yesterday that traced some of the recent engagement that he has tried to develop with Federal officials.

The update comes amid the recent indications from the local DFO office on potential closures for the upcoming summer season, with early returns indicating some concern for stock levels on the Skeena and Nass rivers.

Two weeks ago Mr. Cullen noted his frustrations with DFO and Federal fisheries officials when it came to getting updates on fishery management plans, once again highlighting that level of concern in his opening notes of yesterday.

It is absolutely imperative that elected officials have access to local senior managers about fishery management thoughts and plans as elected representatives are often the first people anxious user groups turn to when tough decisions are on the table,”

Towards those discussions,  the statement notes that Mr. Cullen "pressed DFO to pursue more aggressive management strategies to rebuild depleted North Coast salmon stocks, impose sharp restrictions on large commercial fishing lodges, and release 2018 harvest numbers as soon as possible."

Tuesday's notes also recount how Mr. Cullen has heard from many user Groups and First Nations representatives noting that all are on edge over the situation with the MP"s statement offering up some of the background to those concerns.

Projected record low sockeye and chinook returns to the Skeena Watershed this season and DFO considering a total closure of these species have all user groups and First Nations fishers on edge. Many have contacted Cullen with their concerns in recent weeks. 

 Climate change and warmer waters are causing severe mortality in salmon stocks, tensions among user groups, and threatening First Nations cultures, area economies and lifestyles in ways not seen previously in the Northwest"

From his statement, the MP notes that his recent telephone briefing with North Coast Senior Managers was helpful in delivering the concerns of constituents and opening the channels of communication with the department.

His commentary ends with the MP and his staff noting that they will continue to be in contact with DFO senior staff locally, that as officials consult on the draft harvest plans for the upcoming season and make their final allocation decisions.

You can review the MP's commentary here.

For a look at some of the ongoing issues related to the North Coast Fishery see our archive page here.

A wider overview of political items from the MP can be found on our House of Commons archive, while we also highlight some of the stories on the national scene through our D'Arcy McGee blog.

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

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