Court stops herring fishery off Vancouver Island

  • Mar. 3, 2014 6:00 p.m.

The Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, from the west coast of Vancouver Island, won a court injunction last week, preventing DFO from opening herring fisheries in its waters, after a document revealed the Fisheries Minister ignored scientific recommendations that the fishery remain closed there and in two other areas, including Haida Gwaii.”In a memorandum addressed to the minister on Dec. 9, 2013, DFO scientists recommend maintaining the closure of the areas around the west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and Haida Gwaii for the 2014 fishing season,” reported The Tyee last Saturday (Feb. 22).Even so, after a 12 year hiatus, Minister Gail Shea planned reopening commercial herring roe fisheries this year in all three areas, with a harvest rate of 10 per cent.”Minister Shea has taken this action against our specific recommendations not to fish herring in 2014. Just when the herring stocks in our territory were starting to rebuild, Minister Shea has proposed significant commercial fisheries that might wipe out the rebuilding that is underway,” CHN president Peter Lantin told the protocol meeting in Sandspit last month.The DFO document was integral in the court case victory, reported The Tyee. The injunction stops DFO from allowing a fishery in the waters on Vancouver Island’s west coast.In February, the Haida, Heiltsuk and Nuu-chah-nulth nations united in opposition to re-opening herring fisheries in their waters for the 2014 season. It is uncertain how this decision will effect the proposed herring fishery in Haida Gwaii waters, as DFO is refusing comment.

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