Commercial Fishermen from up and down the coast of British Columbia provided input last week at a virtual conference towards the future for the Salmon fishery, with over 100 participants offering up 180 different recommendations to go into a report to be delivered to the Department of Fisheries.
Some of the key themes explored during the course of the two day event of January 21 and 22nd included:
Improving salmon runs (how to increase survivals and produce more)
Allocation (how should salmon be allocated to ensure all can co-exist)
Access (what policies limit our access and what should be changed)
Governance ( How do fishermen work all together to influence governments)
Licensing (Entry and exit plans that protect active fishermen, encourage new entrants and enable a dignified and secure retirement)
Participants heard from guest speaker Bob Chamberlin, who outlined how unity among coastal people helped steer the government towards the closure of the Salmon Farms at Discovery, highlighting how that ability to work together delivered the change in those coastal communities of that area that many had been calling for.
The conference also provided for the opportunity for smaller groups to dig deeper into the issues of concern and to provide their recommendations towards a revitalized Pacific Salmon Fishery.
UFAWU-Unifor's Joy Thorkelson was among those organizing the conference, praising the work of the participants to try and find solutions to ongoing issues of concern.
From those recommendations a draft report is anticipated within the next two weeks, the fishermen will then have an opportunity to provide further comment on the recommendations and observations before the final document is complete and forwarded to the Department of Fisheries for consideration, with organizers hopeful that their two days of discussion will see action on their themes taken by government.
Some of the ongoing concerns related to the BC Salmon Fishery can be explored further through the UFAWU-Unifor website here.
Further notes to interest on the North Coast fishery can be reviewed from our archive page.