Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Haida have concerns over continued travels of Factory Trawlers in Haida Territorial waters

The Council of Haida Nation has been keeping a close watch
on factory trawlers working the Dixon Entrance area this month

The Council of Haida Nation has raised its ongoing concerns about the work of factory trawlers in Haida area waters, calling for a number of measures to be put in place immediately and for the issue to be examined thoroughly by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In a statement for residents of Haida Gwaii from earlier this month, the CHN made note of two factory trawlers – F/V Sunderoey and F/V Pacific Legacy – which were observed fishing in Siigaay Dixon Entrance from early to mid-December.  

The CHN shares many of the concerns expressed by Haida citizens regarding this recent fishing activity and the implications for Haida Gwaii marine ecosystems and Haida use, including commercial fishing opportunities.

Among the immediate measures they wish to see put in place:

Placement of Haida observers on all factory trawling vessels operating in Haida Territories

Sharing of trawling related fisheries data with the CHN to inform a longer term strategy for managing factory trawling in Haida territories.

As well, the CHN will be seeking to initiate discussions with DFO and industry respresentatives regarding restricting factory trawlers from operating in Haida territories, effective immediately. They also note that they will continue to work with other Nations and members of the fishing industry who share our concerns to work collectively on solutions. 

The issue is not a new one and has made for a concern for sustainable fisheries on Haida Gwaii for close to three decades now, with the CHN putting forward resolutions to monitor the trawl fisheries to determine the impact and prevent erosion of Haida Fisheries by protecting and conserving the fish and marine habitats of their waters.

Since 2013, with the introduction of factory trawlers in the northwest, those concerns had intensified. Factory trawlers are capable of catching more fish, more quickly and can stay at sea longer than other vessels, since they can process and freeze as much as a million or more pounds of fish onboard, which brings more ecological impacts and even less benefits to our communities.

For more items of note from the North Coast Fishery see our archive page here.

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