Halibut closure unfair to locals

Last month’s announcement of a shut-down of recreational fishing is terrible news for coastal communities.

Last month’s announcement of a shut-down of recreational fishing is terrible news for coastal communities.

Our company operates a number of businesses on the coast of British Columbia, including sports fishing resorts and marinas. Several of these businesses will be severely impacted by this closure.

Our employees will soon be dealing with guests that are unable to fulfill their plans to fish halibut, guests that in many cases travelled from great distances, at great expense, to have that experience.

We’re also dealing with cancellations. We’ll no doubt be cutting back staffing levels accordingly, resulting in a ripple effect of lost economic activity for these communities where our employees live, work and spend money.

In difficult economic times, the results of Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy are completely contradictory to the government of Canada’s attempts to provide economic stimulus.

It’s quite simple. The recreational sector, based on its contribution to the economy of Canada, needs more than 12 per cent of the allowable catch.

We are by no means advocating higher catch limits than what is prescribed at the beginning of each fishing season for halibut. We just need a bigger slice of the pie to stay in business.

Our friends in the commercial sector will also argue that they need to make a living. We wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, what has occurred by the protection of this halibut quota is that the quota holders are literally making hundreds of thousands of dollars selling their quota (which was acquired for free) every year.

Less than one third of these quota holders actually fish.

So in truth, DFO is really protecting big business and quota traders, not the livelihoods of commercial fishermen.

If things don’t change, how could we interpret a perpetuation of the existing halibut allocation policy to be anything other than DFO being influenced more by big business and quota traders than by the economic and social needs of thousands in coastal communities?

Then there’s DFO’s “experimental fishery,” which is essentially the recreational sector paying big business and quota traders for a right to catch some of their “gifted” halibut quota.

Surely DFO can’t be serious?

Lanny Sawchuk

executive vice-president,

chief operations officer

Oak Bay Marine Group

 

 

Just Posted

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

ICBC, province urge residents to plan ahead for winter weather

Greater Victoria should gear up and have a plan in place

Tillicum Centre evacuated after false alarm in Save-On-Foods

A fire alarm was mistakenly activated by falling food

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read