LETTER: Government going overboard with Marine Protected Areas

Dear editor,

The B.C. economy is set to lose hundreds of millions of dollars and few seem to be aware or care about this issue.

The issue is the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Few would argue that MPAs can be beneficial, even commercial fishermen.

The present federal government is proceeding on a scale far beyond what is required; they intend to remove 30 per cent on average, of the coastal areas presently harvested by the commercial fisheries.

These B.C. fishermen work on the principle of sustainable yield, that is, no more is taken from the sea than can be replaced by natural recruitment or in some cases augmentation, such as salmon hatcheries. To accomplish this, fishermen, out of their pockets, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for biomass surveys so that the Department of Fisheries can calculate quotas and yield.

An estimate of the loss to the northern shelf alone ( north of Port Hardy) is $100 million per year!

All this solely on the backs of commercial fishermen and the coastal communities they support. Fair is fair – this is not! And not rational.

George Dennis,

Comox

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