Skeena River, salmon sign. (Jackie Lieuwen / Black Press)

Skeena First Nations push for full closure of recreational fishery

Eight First Nations on the Skeena River watershed say DFO’s chinook restrictions isn’t enough

A group of eight First Nations are pushing for a full closure of all recreational fisheries in the Skeena River Watershed, both freshwater and marine.

The group, part of the Skeena Nations Fisheries Fish Forum Protocol, said they oppose the recent actions by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the B.C government to allow some recreational fishing.

DFO temporarily closed recreational fishing May 8, and then on May 30 announced that there would be a 25-30 per cent reduction in exploitation rates for chinook this year due to conservation concerns. Recreational anglers are allowed to catch one chinook per day in marine waters near Prince Rupert, and Kitimat to Haida Gwaii.

READ MORE: Sweeping salmon closures for recreational fishing

READ MORE: DFO implements chinook restrictions

But the Skeena Nations Fish Forum released a press release today saying that’s not enough.

The Skeena First Nations Technical Committee requested that DFO close all freshwater and marine fisheries impacting Skeena Chinook, with no catch and release option, but DFO did not follow that recommendation, it says in the press release.

“We oppose the actions of DFO allowing the recreational fishery to harvest Chinook in this salmon crisis, and BC issuing guide outfitter permits and individual licenses to allow the recreational steelhead catch and release fishery to remain open,” said Bruce Watkinson, co-chair of the Skeena Nations Fish Secretariat.

“If Canada and B.C. are serious about their commitments to Indigenous peoples, then the Skeena watershed and marine waters should be closed to all recreational salmon fishing for the 2018 season.”

The release goes on to state that the DFO actions appease the recreational fishery but do not live up to its obligation to protect the Skeena fishery and the interests of First Nations.

“The Skeena Nations support conservation, however our Constitutional Aboriginal rights must be recognized and respected – to ensure this, we will engage in a collaborative process and dialogue with DFO and B.C.,” it said.

READ MORE: Salmon closures a devastating blow to businesses

First Nations’ signatories include leaders from Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Lake Babine, Metlakatla, and the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.


 


jackie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Concerns over democracy as Senate committee votes to nix oil tanker ban

Critics of the Senate’s recommendation to kill Bill C-48 say it goes against popular will

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Red cedars dying in northwestern B.C. from drought

There was a 75 per cent decline in precipitation for the months of February and April

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read