Mosquito fleet given green light

DFO approves CHN-led demonstration coho fishery

By Quinn Bender

Fisheries and Oceans and Canada has approved a Council of the Haida Nation proposal for a demonstration coho fishery within the nation’s traditional waters.

In areas currently used for food, social and ceremonial fishing, the pilot project will allow for commercial access to the coho. Five Area F troll licences are are currently unused in the DFO inventory, so their allocation to the new Haida demo fishery will not place additional burden on coho numbers.

Within the Fisheries Management Plan for Northern BC salmon, the plan calls for a fleet of between 20 and 30 boats up to 26 feet in length.

This mosquito fleet will be active in areas off the north coast of Haida Gwaii, east of Klashwun Point to the eastern boundary of Rose Spit. Further south, commercial fishing is permitted west of Skidegate Inlet and Cartwright sound.

Catches will be offloaded daily and sold to Haida Wild.

Fishing will occur during the Area F Coho Troll openings, usually between mid-July and late-September, and allow for 3.1 to 10 per cent of the total North Coast commercial catch, depending on the number of licences issued to Haida fishers, and each week’s total harvest within the Area F commercial fishery.

The DFO is working with Haida Fisheries to finalize the management plan and implement it in the coming week. The Mosquito Demo Fishery falls under the Commercial Salmon Allocation Framework process.

DFO will be responsible for estimating the weekly commercial coho catch for North Coast coho fisheries, and provide these estimates along with the weekly catch targets for the Haida CSAF Demo Fishery each week.

DFO and Haida Fisheries staff will work together on monitoring the plan, but will be developed and led by Haida Fisheries.