Haida fisheries forum looks to the future

Haida fishers will discuss the future of commercial fishing at a Dec. 10 fisheries forum hosted by HaiCo in the Old Massett Village Hall.

  • Nov. 28, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Haida fishers will try to shed light on the future of commercial fishing at a Dec. 10 fisheries forum hosted by HaiCo in the Old Massett Village Hall.

“The initial step is to speak to the Haida fishermen, who have a vested interest not only in HaidaWild and HaiCo, but also in Haida Gwaii and their families,” Theo Assu, HaiCo’s business development coordinator, said.

Assu started his own career as a commercial fisher working on his family’s seine vessel, the Haida Girl.

“These are the guys who are on the ground catching and delivering the product,” he said.

Topics at the day-long forum will include potential target species, licensing and quota, best practices, deliveries and off-loading, and market conditions.

Much of the processing for Haida fishers is done by Haida Wild in Masset.

All Haida Wild products are Ocean Wise-certified, and they include black cod, halibut and salmon, as well as prawn, crab, and razor clams.

Representatives from Haida Wild will join the forum, along with people from Haida Fisheries and the Council of the Haida Nation.

Assu said after a general decline across the B.C. coast, commercial fishing has seen some regrowth.

“Part of the plan is to enable Haida fishermen to return to the industry,” he said.

Anyone looking to get started as a commercial fisher has a number of hurdles to clear, ranging from ballast and navigation training to securing a licence, a quota, a vessel, and gear.

“These aren’t turnkey operations,” said Assu. “It’s not like you can just walk in and manage an empire of commercial fishing assets, and have all the knowledge and skills required.”

Most fishers start by getting a number of certifications, and fishing quota from a leased boat.

While most B.C. fishers only fish seasonally, some are able to work nearly year-round by starting with herring in February and then moving to prawn, halibut, crab, cod, and salmon fisheries through the year.

Securing licensing and quota is often difficult, said Assu, who said the systems are complex, and often changing.

But recent federal programs, such as the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative, have increased First Nations participation in commercial fisheries, and part of the forum discussion will about how that will continue.

The Haida Wild Fisheries Forum will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Old Masset Village Hall. Any fishers interested in joining are asked to forward their contact information and fishing experience to Theo Assu at theo.assu@haico.ca.


Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Police seek man wanted for assault

Queen Charlotte RCMP are asking for help finding a man wanted for… Continue reading

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

Most Read