Location wrong for meeting: Urs Thomas

  • Jun. 7, 2013 2:00 p.m.

Only a handful of people attended the PNCIMA open house on island last week. Attendance was poor said Urs Thomas, who sits on the Integrated Oceans Advisory Committee representing the Sportsfishing Advisory board. He attended the event June 3. “The location was completely wrong,” he said, “I’m not sure who came up with the idea to put it into Old Massett, in the youth building, they didn’t even have a sandwich board outside to keep people aware of it.” Mr. Thomas said the meeting was also not well advertised and pointed out that there was a conflicting Marine Partnership Planning meeting for the same night, which would draw the same people. He said the meeting was supposed to be an open house on the whole PNCIMA plan to let the public have input, but he was disappointed with the presentation. “There was no discussion, there were a few displays and you could ask questions, but there was not an actual meeting.” The PNCIMA plan is the prospective ocean use management plan for the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area, which is one of five Large Ocean Management Areas identified as priorities in Canada’s 2005 Oceans Action Plan. The PNCIMA boundary extends from the base of the continental shelf slope in the west to the coastal watershed in the east and from the Canada-U.S. border of Alaska to Brooks Peninsula on northwest Vancouver Island and to Quadra Island in the south and contains all of the waters surrounding Haida Gwaii. The final decisions on the plan will be made this fall by the PNCIMA steering committee, which is made up of representatives of the federal, provincial and First Nations governments. The IOAC, to which Mr. Thomas belongs, has an advisory role in the process, he said. Mr. Thomas said he was disappointed in the turn-out and advises islanders to check out the plan on the PNCIMA website.