DFO opens dialogue with MP

Nathan Cullen concerned over public tensions as fisheries plan hashed out

Following a communication jam with DFO managers earlier this month, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said March 28 the channels have opened up with a useful dialogue emerging.

In a recent telephone briefing with managers regarding the 2018-19 draft salmon-harvest plans, Cullen said in a release he is pressing for more aggressive management strategies to rebuild depleted North Coast salmon stocks, impose sharp restrictions on large commercial fishing lodges and, as previously stated, the earliest possible release of the 2018 harvest numbers.

Currently DFO estimates a sockeye return to the Skeena watershed of 650,000. The threshold for a recreational fishery is 800,000. The Skeena First Nations Technical Committee has recommended the trigger for food and ceremonial catches be temporarily increased to 600,000 from 400,000 in the interest of attaining the minimum escapement goal.

Two weeks ago Cullen accused Fisheries and Oceans Canada of refusing North Coast managers to speak with him on the harvest plan, for what’s expected to be record-low returns for chinook and sockeye in the Skeena watershed. The press secretary of Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc told Black Press the ministry was in direct contact with the MP’s office, but Cullen maintains he and his staff had spent several days negotiating with political advisors for a briefing.

Nathan Cullen

“It is absolutely imperative that elected officials have access to local senior managers about fishery management thoughts and plans, as elected representatives are often the first people anxious user groups turn to when tough decisions are on the table,” Cullen said.

DFO North Coast director Colin Masson returned from holiday March 23 and said last week he is committed to a face-to-face meeting with Cullen and his staff to discuss the process further.

Masson added the harvest plan is midway through the consultation process with First Nations, commercial and recreation groups, and is expected to be finalized early May.

Cullen meanwhile reiterated his call for ground-level cooperation between user groups to avoid conflicts over the limited stocks. He added that the proposed, complete closure on the two species are heating up tensions in “ways not seen previously” among constituents concerned for either food, cultural, or economic security.

“Salmon are essential to the people of the Northwest,” Cullen said. “We must respect and protect this precious resource and now, more than ever, be guided by conservation as our watchword.”


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Temperature records being broken for Williams Lake area

On Tuesday, March 19, the high measured at the airport was 15.7 C which would have beat the highest temperature on record of 13.0 C, on that day in 1997.

Williams Lake Credit Union banks on solar power to save cash

Pro Circuit Electrical Ltd. installed solar panels on two sides of the building

Williams Lake speed skater qualifies for Canadian Western Speed Skating Championships

“I’m really proud of myself for achieving that.” - Leah Lauren

Amendments for Pinnacle Pellet focus of March 28 open house

“Our production will depend on the fibre profile in the region,” Loerke said.

One taken to hospital after motor vehicle incident on Mackenzie Avenue Tuesday

RCMP, CCSARS, EHS and Williams Lake Fire Department all respond

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read