Recreational fishing means more than fun

It is with sadness that I see news that the Juan de Fuca Invitational Salmon Championship near Victoria has been cancelled

It is with sadness that I see news that the Juan de Fuca Invitational Salmon Championship near Victoria has been cancelled for 2012.

The fact that this important social and cultural event for the B.C. recreational fishery, which over its 25-year history has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for much-needed salmon habitat and stock enhancement work that has been cancelled, should be enough of a tragedy, but it isn’t the whole story.

This major blow to the B.C. angling community and the tourism-based businesses that support it is a symptom of a far larger problem.

It appears that over the past couple of decades the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has forgotten how important recreational fishing is to British Columbians and increasingly seems to have lost touch with the value of our fishery and how it works.

To illustrate the depth of this problem, you only have to look as far as DFO’s own planning and priority document for 2012. It shows that the target landed value for commercial fisheries nationwide is $5 billion, while the target for the value of the recreational fishery is $7.5 billion.

The seriousness of the problem becomes even more evident when we find out that DFO intends on spending $101.6 million to support commercial fisheries activity, while the recreational fishery is allocated $5.9 million. Talk about no respect.

The issues that flow out of this clear disregard for the recreational fishery affect many species across the entire province. Coho, Chinook, halibut, prawn, and crab are all glaring examples of fisheries where the recreational sector is becoming increasingly marginalized.

They know that further reductions in sport catch will do nothing to help these stocks, yet once again they will take what they feel is the path of least resistance rather than deal with the thornier issues.

If the 300,000 or so anglers who value the precious time we spend on the water with family and friends, and the hundreds of businesses that are keeping coastal communities afloat across this province with their economic activity aren’t important to DFO, perhaps it’s time we remind them that we are here, we are important and we aren’t going anywhere.

Write the minister, talk to your local politicians, or just do something to make them understand that we are important, we do care and we have had enough.

Martin Paish

Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina

Oak Bay Marine Group




Just Posted

Major expansion coming to Royal Bay Secondary

Province will build space for 600 more students on same site

Colwood wins Victoria Flower Count for a five-peat

The 43rd annual Flower Count had over three billion blossoms counted in total

Langford fundraiser for kidney disease is a success

Maureen Hobbs thinks B.C. Transplant says it best: “Live life. Pass it on.”

West Shore municipalities eye mass notification system

System would send out info via text, email or phone call in an emergency

Moving fire dispatch services will save taxpayers thousands, say mayors

Transition will save about $1.5 million over the next five years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

RV David Thompson unveiled in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Parks Canada research vessel part of billion-dollar environmental investment

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

Most Read