Feds’ fishing policy fatally flawed

Dear editor,

Dear editor,

I continue to be absolutely astonished at Fisheries Minister Gail Shea’s refusal to alter the absurd allocation of the annual Canadian halibut catch between the commercial and recreational sectors (88 per cent commercial, 12 per cent recreational) given the vocal feedback she’s received from the recreational sector in recent months.

This reaffirmation of a fatally flawed policy will put businesses at risk that contribute heavily to the economy of British Columbia. The resorts that our company operates will be amongst these.

One myth I’d like to dispel is that we in the recreational fishing sector hate commercial fishermen. We actually have the utmost respect for the hard-working people that make up the commercial sector. In fact, we believe that it’s unfortunate that DFO policies are not helping them to make a living either.

The facts show that the minister’s policy really acts to protect the small (just over 400) group of halibut quota holders that were gifted halibut quota several years back. Many of these folks don’t fish anymore and make serious money selling their quota to hard-working fishermen who are squeezed in the middle.

And now DFO wants the recreational sector to buy quota from these quota holders, too? I don’t think so.

One need not be a DFO scientist or a senior bureaucrat to read between the lines of the minister’s decision. Despite the fact that halibut stocks are strong, despite the fact that sports-caught halibut yield many times the economic benefit of those commercially caught, and despite the fact that literally thousands of people have recently expressed their wish to see DFO change its halibut allocation policy, the “rights” of quota holders have been upheld.

It’s hardly a demonstration of democratic principles in action. Chalk one up for the lobby efforts of the quota holders.

Lanny Sawchuk

Editor’s note: Lanny Sawchuk is the chief operations officer of Victoria-based Oak Bay Marine Group.

Just Posted

Affordable rental housing complex opens in Courtenay

The Braidwood facility will house 34 people at risk of homelessness

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

Open house opens access for those suffering from vision loss

Pat Chicquen understands how isolating losing vision can be, which is why… Continue reading

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

Most Read