Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fishery Closures bring Advisory from Metlakatla Aquatic Resources

With the Department of Fisheries issuing a Skeena Sockeye closure last week, the Metlakatla Aquatic Resources office provided some additional information for its membership.

As part of their information update from Monday afternoon the MAR, made note of current Sockeye run projections and retention ambitions.

The FSC Skeena Sockeye cut off is set at 400,000 projected Sockeye run size expected to pass the Tyee Test Fishery. This is an enforceable conservation measure by DFO to ensure enough Sockeye reach the spawning grounds.

All First Nations that target Skeena Sockeye had new FSC communal licences hand-delivered by DFO Conservation and Protection officers with the amendment to close Skeena Sockeye retention and closure for all gillnet fishing. 

Nations at the headwaters will be provided with a proportional opportunity to harvest Sockeye and those details have not been communicated.

Metlakatla officials also note how they, Lax Kw'alaams and Kitkatla have all informed DFO officials that only their own Band members have authorization to fish in their respective traditional territories.

The Skeena Sockeye closure is in effect for all Marine First Nations as well.

As part of their own program of watching over the stocks and as they do not as of yet have the
authority to issue charges they provided the following guidelines for their members during the current closure.

Please call DFO's Observe, Record, Report line (1-800-465-4336) as soon as possible if you see suspicious activity out on the water (e.g. non-designated First Nation people fishing in the Coast Tsimshian Traditional Territory, recreational over-fishing anywhere).

Indications to this point are that the lifting of any closures will not be revisited until more certainty is seen towards positive trends in the returns, considered to be Friday at the earliest.

You can review the entire notice for their membership here.

Updates from the Metlakatla Aquatics Resources can be round from their Facebook page.

For more notes on the North Coast Fishery see our archive page here.

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