Friday, May 28, 2021

UFAWU-Unifor release report on future of Commercial Salmon Fishery

Four key areas of recommendation make for the findings of a forty four page report commissioned by UFAWU-Unifor following a conference earlier this year which explored the many challenges and concerns that the commercial fishery and those who work in the dwindling number of fish plants face in the province.

The report was created following the Future of the B.C. Commercial Salmon Fishing Conference, which took place on January 21 and 22, 2021. 

It details the many recommendations voiced by the active commercial salmon harvesters who attended the conference. The plan to create the report originated when the deputy minister created a small working group to provide policy input on the future of the salmon fishery. 

That working group was made up of representatives from UFAWU-Unifor, the Area C Harvest Committee, Area D Gillnet Association, Area E Harvest Committee, Area G Trollers Association, Commercial Fishing Caucus, Native Brotherhood of B.C., Native Fishing Association, Northern Native Fishing Corporation, Northern Trollers Association, and others.

Titled the Future of Commercial Salmon Fishing, the document provides some background to the rich history that the industry has seen in the province, as well as their blue print towards a viable and vibrant commercial salmon fishery.

Among the Recommendations are 2 towards improving salmon runs, Five to the atopic of allocation of the Resource, 4 exploring access to the Resource and 6 recommendations on the topic of governance, with five more items up for consideration towards entry and exit planning.

Each of those topics gains some extensive review which you can access here.

The conclusion to the report calls for all levels of government to address the current state of crisis that they state the industry is in, with DFO policies among the key areas of concern for attention.

"Fishermen are in absolute agreement that there is no productive relationship between active fishermen and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. This must change." -- One of the key statements from the recently produced report on the Commercial Salmon Fishery

The document further notes that the federal and provincial governments need to decide if there is room in B.C. for a successful commercial salmon fishery, and if so, what should it look like, who can participate, and what changes need to be made to make it viable, vibrant and sustainable. Governments must be upfront with their decisions so that people can get on with their lives. 

"Harvesters have made many recommendations for DFO on improving salmon runs, salmon allocation, salmon access, governance and licensing. Now we would like to see the government's support in making these recommendations a reality." -- UFAWU-Unifor President James Lawson

The document has been submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, though so far the Federal department has not had any comment on the findings and recommendations

More notes on the North Coast fishery can be explored from our archive page here.

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