Cullen demands fisheries overhaul

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is demanding a fisheries overhaul in northwest Canada.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, Nathan Cullen is demanding a fisheries overhaul in northwest Canada.

Frustration is mounting over the changing regulations and restrictive fishing methods, and allowing certain user groups to fish down the coast, a DFO spokesperson stated two weeks ago.

Cullen has been meeting with fishermen and DFO officials this summer and is trying to figure out what the next steps are. He said he wants to bring the new fisheries minister, Dominic LeBlanc, to the northwest “to bring about some fundamental changes to the fisheries system so that it’s the same families again and to stop giving in to a system where only the wealthiest skippers are able to make ends meet and nobody else.”

“All these protests, I think, are manifestations of that struggle people are having.”

DFO has been charging fishermen for having a small amount of bycatch and using it for food fish for First Nations communities and they were called out for it in a UFAWU-Unifor bulletin from July 29.

“A number of DFO policies over the years has really hurt the northern fleet, hurt communities and made it tougher and tougher for people to fish and certainly almost impossible for young people to get in that is the foundation. Then when you put that pressure on the fishing fleet, issues like bycatch, people fishing a certain way start to come up more often. You can either deal with the symptom or go right to the source,” Cullen said.

His answer is to sit down with DFO and the fisheries minister and reform the fishery. Some of the changes he’d like to see already exist on the East Coast. One example he gave was the owner-operator policy in the Atlantic, where commercial fishing licences are held by an individual or the licence holders’s company.

He also suggests bringing in an allocation that allows people to fish for longer times throughout the year but not as intensely to take some pressure off the fishery, and to work collaboratively with the fishing fleet, First Nations and sport fishermen.

“We’re headed, I believe and many believe, to co-management, particularly in places like Haida Gwaii and Heiltsuk territory and Nuxalk, co-management with First Nations and the federal government,” Cullen said. “If we’re going to manage this properly for fish and for people, then Ottawa has got to learn that they don’t have all the answers and I feel confident saying that because they’ve made so many mistakes over the years.”

 

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en clan launches civil lawsuit against Coastal GasLink

Gidimt’en seeking damages and costs over destruction of logging road encampment and gate

New record set at Totem to Totem marathon

Thomas Nichini of Vancouver breaks marathon mark, while Tlell’s Brionne Lavoie wins men’s 10 km

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Queen Charlotte highlights the year that was in 2018 Annual Report

A number of works projects were completed, as well as improvements at the youth centre

Boon Docs, life as a rural doctor tickles the funny bone

Haida Gwaii’s Caroline Shooner draws observations from the medical field

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

BC Cancer Agency refuses to release audit’s critical findings, but discloses ‘positive’ findings

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions of cancer agency’s triage audit

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Most Read