Halibut issue

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by fishingbc, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. fishingbc

    fishingbc Active Member

    Halibut issue

    This halibut allocation battle is getting real old, real fast. The Commercial Halibut Management Association which has dropped the gloves in an all out fight against ordinary Canadians who just go out on the water and do what they love to do….fish. Now it’s directing it’s venom at the thousands of hard working Canadians who make up, in their eyes the newly invented “commercial recreational” sport-fishing sector. I’m not sure which public relations firm they have hired to help them spread this “commercial recreational” nonsense around but its sounds very similar to the repeated “we can do no harm” we hear from the Salmon Farmers Association . If you tell people something over and over again, eventually one has a tendency to believe.

    Fishing charter operators, fishing guides, fishing lodges and the MILLIONS, yes MILLIONS of Canadians who have flocked the beautiful west coast of British Columbia over the years to pursue their passion of catching salmon, and halibut are all part of ONE SECTOR, not some dreamed up, newly created one. The sport fishing sector made up of 80-90% Canadians and pumps $650 MILLION ANNUALLY into the BC economy, far more than the $150 million of ALL B.C. commercial fisheries combined.

    We will NEVER be divided by this “divided and conquer” mentality of the latest attack on how the Canadian angling public spends our free time, our money or how we decide to feed our families. Its simple defies common sense that our local Conservative MP John Duncan (Vancouver Island North) is backing this anti -recreational movement that spends hundreds of millions of dollars in his own backyard. Mr Duncan’s press release of last week stating and I quote” the commercial sector of the recreational halibut fishery” is proof that he towing the same line as the commercial sector that he has backed since this ridiculous allocation policy came into being. Mr Duncan knows full well that the halibut stocks are healthy and are the best managed fish stocks in the world. To have Mr Duncan turn this into conservation issue is laughable. Neither sector would be able to fish halibut this year if that were the case.

    It did not surprise anyone that after TWO full years of silence Mr Duncan and refusals to meet with anyone from the sport fishing sector that he came out with this political drivel the day after over 350 people attended the Campbell River town hall meeting put on by the BC Sport Fishing Coalition. Mr Duncan, no one is buying your side of the story.

    The Canadian sport fishing sector has been silent for far too long in dealing with federal fisheries issues, commercially biased, east coast based federal fisheries ministers who have never understood “our way of life” here on the west coast or how important our recreational sector is to the BC economy. Other than the Sport Fish Advisory Board (SFAB) no real avenue has ever been available to voice "OUR" concerns to DFO. Now with the total failure of all attempts by the SFAB to deal with DFO and the looming closure of the recreational halibut fishery in mid-season this year, it is time for the sleeping giant to wake up and be heard. This is just now happening and gaining speed under one unified coalition The B.C. Sports Fishing Coalition.

    The BC Sport Fishing Coalition is solidly backed by thousands upon thousands of passionate Canadian anglers, the 38,000 strong BC Wildlife Federation, guides associations, The Sport Fishing Institute of BC, The B.C Marine Trades Association and thousands of Canadians on the B.C Coast who feed their families with income derived from the sport fishing sector. Town hall meetings up and down Vancouver Island have drawn over flow crowds and with more meetings planned for the north coast and the lower mainland. These meetings have been informative and well run, with up to date information now flowing around the BC coast and to the sport fishing community.


    It is now time for all those who have a passion for sport fishing, "our distinct way of life", the outdoors, doing the right thing to speak up and be heard. It’s quite obvious that the commercial sector has heard our voices and has continued to target ordinary Canadians with inflammatory ads in major newspapers instead of working with us to solve a difficult issue. Our federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, MP John Duncan and the decision makers in Ottawa have done nothing but make this unworkable situation worse. Their ignorance and silence has done nothing but fuel the flames between the residents of BC who are involved in both sectors. This halibut allocation issue has been festering like a bad infection for 7 years now. It needs to be fixed now so the sport fishing sector can continue working to do draw hundreds of thousands of tourists and anglers to the BC coast every year and keep thousands of BC residents employed. To shut down $650 million / year sport fishery during tough economic times or any other time would cause irreversible damage to the entire BC economy and take years to recover. Delaying the opening of the Halibut season, as announced on Thursday, has resulted in more charter cancellations, cancelled airline flights, rumours spreading around the angling world, anglers re-booking charters to Alaska, uncertainty in the tourism industry and a myriad of other unnecessary consequences of this unnecessary and biased political indecision.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2011
  2. h-core

    h-core Member

    Great Post!
  3. Bassblaster

    Bassblaster Active Member

    Very well thought out and well written post FBC. It clearly defines the perspective of the "commercial sportfishing sector". I don't have the time to write a full reply post at the moment, but for the time being it's good to see others taking time to gather more data and keep us all informed.
  4. Very well put fishingbc. I understand that the hali issue has now been passed to the Prime Ministers office. I guess that only proves that this is a very political issue, not just a matter for DFO to deal with.

    I can only hope that the PM's staffers understand charters, guides and lodges provide a platform that the average Canadian can use to go fishing. Not a lot different than a rent-a-car company, a hotel, or taxi business that makes it's living from tourists in Vancouver. All they provide is a vehicle to fish from, a place to sleep, and meals while you're fishing. The prior mentioned groups don't own the resource, the Canadian public do and the individual angler has to go purchase his/her own licence to gain access to the fish, not by going to a lodge or charter.

    I have noticed that the commercial halibut association ads in the paper are really pushing the growth in lodges and charters and how that has put pressure on the fishery. And no doubt they will lobby the Prime Minister's office on this topic. Of course the halibut association's view is ill-informed and in fact 12 lodges have closed in the last four years and uncounted charter operations. But as you noted if you tell a story enough people may start believing it, whether it is correct or not. And the other part in the ad about feeding Canadian families, give me a break, most of the hali is exported. And frankly I don't have a problem with the exports. Everyone has to make a living. But please stick to the facts.

    It seems to be boiling down to the point now where the PMO is going to have to decide on whether there is a buy-back of commercial licences. It's happened before in various fisheries and maybe it is time now to do it here. The only real difference in this situation is it is not about conservation as it usually is in buy-backs, it is about the Canadian public's access to halibut. Although it is very ironic that the people have essentially to buy their own fish back which they gave away for virtually nothing, that is about the only way the government can correct the terrible mistake a Liberal Fisheries Minister made back in 2003.

    And in case a commercial hali fisher reads this, no I don't own a lodge or charter but I do once a year or so take a charter on the west coast and go fishing.
  5. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Received this e-mail today

    DFO delays opening....... :mad:

    Dear Friends,
    We learned this afternoon that DFO has chosen to delay the recreational halibut fishery until government decides the future disposition of our common property resource.

    Efforts are ramping up and more letters are coming in daily...your efforts are paying off.

    Anglers across the province continue to rally. Community members in a number of BC Towns are setting up their own Town Hall Meetings including Kitimat and Maple Ridge. More details to be announced early next week.

    Send in your letter now and have your say!

    Following please find a brief update on some key developments.

    Tight lines

    The Coalition Team
  6. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Double trouble--how did you find out that the issue has gone to the PMs office???? If true, it could change the nature of our protests
  7. Ding Dong!

    Ding Dong! Guest

    An excellent post for sure and some good dialog that follows. Something that has always bothered me when industry describes itself as a facilitator only, a "TAXI" service. In my opinion that type of statement is slightly misleading. A taxi follows the customers command; Customer phones dispatch and dispatch calls Taxi driver to pick up customer. Taxi driver honks his horn to signify his arrival to the customer's location. Customer enters the Taxi and then explains to the driver exactly where he would like to go.

    So, what is it exactly you are trying to say "Ding Dong!"? Well in the case of most charter or guide operations the business owner tells the customer that he is to show up at a dock, he is picked up by a professional fishing guide and taken to the fishing grounds to special locations that host species for the customer to catch. With out the direction from the guide or business the customer, more than likely would angle at the same level of opportunity as the rest of the tin boat fleet. A guide or lodge business focuses the client and directs him into success. Therefore a guide lodge business is not simply a "TAXI" service, he is in fact a facilitator and director, but is not simply a Taxi service.

    Ding Dong!
  8. Deewar25

    Deewar25 Well-Known Member

    While the delay obviously sucks, the wording there I find interesting - 'decides the future disposition'. What would have been so hard for them just to proceed with the standard 1/1 and say it is what it is if they were just doing the same ol ignore the sport guy? It appears they could actually be listening and there could be allocation discussion here? Probably overthinking, but hey, one can hope!
  9. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    I am opposed to anyone lodges, guides, commercial fishermen being private owners of Canada's resources...
  10. Ding Dong!

    Ding Dong! Guest

    Derby, I am also! However I will note that this is the second time that you have replied to a post that I have made with the exact same statement. It adds nothing to what I have written, other than to announce you position. I do believe that I said at that time that I agreed also. I know that there are many individuals out there in all sectors that are quite happy utilizing the majority of the "Peoples" resource.

    Ding Dong!
  11. fish4all

    fish4all Active Member

    Instead of working with you .lol Do you have any idea of the options put forward that the sfab absolutly resfused to look at or entertain to try and work this out? Only to come forward in the 11th hour with a document demanding dfo to take quota away from commercial fishermen that had to pay for it. And no the document did not say "take it away from the slipper skippers" it said take it from all.
    Why would 1/1 "shut down" a $650 million/year sports fishery? Do you or anyone have any proof of this?
    The Alaskans just got sh#t kicked at the IPHC this week. They are about to have limited entry for the charter boats, reduced limits, and possibly a slot size on halibut the uncertainty is far greater there. And it thats not enough area 2c,Sitka, with 4mill in overhavesting by the rec sector over the last 6 years is on the brink of collapse. Maybe it's time we all stood back from this thing and put the fish first, or does that not fit your business plan?
  12. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    But it is the people resource :)
  13. Hi ding dong. In reference to your taxi bit I would like to think you have my point. The guide or charter is taking the person to the fishing grounds, not unlike a taxi taking me to a destination that I am looking for. In both cases the person I am hiring hopefully knows the way! Anyways, I think you have my point, those for hire give me a chance to use my personal fishing licence to go catch hali. Without their service it would be a lot more difficult for me to get a halibut.

    And to my mentioning of it going to the PM's office, my source won't be wrong. This can easily be solved with some cash and the PM holds the purse strings.If they buy quota the person that sells it is happy and the public will also be happy in that a error that was made in 2003 will finally be corrected. A win-win.
  14. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    We you involved in any of the process in the last 7 years?
  15. Ding Dong!

    Ding Dong! Guest

    Derby, all of your clever and well thought out single liners are not helping to get your clear message across to all of the simpletons like me. We are recognizing that the main proportion of this battle has been directed by industry both in the sport and commercial sectors, and is not so much volleyed by the tin boat angler. It is very clear to me who will benefit the most from using the "Peoples" resource this coming season. It's too bad the focus of the coalition started by creating an us Vs. them scenario, the weight of your argument had far greater force when you were focused on Government wrong doing. Your path today will not change anything, it's time to rethink your strategy.

    Ding Dong!
  16. Derby

    Derby Well-Known Member

    I am a tin boater-mostly everyone is a tin boater or a enjoyer of the great outdoors that BC and Canada has to offer.
    Who will be benefiting the most from the use of the "peoples" resource? the hard working Canadian people whoever they maybe of course. The commercial guy who work his boat- working hard with his crew to make a living-the tin boater who likes to fish his boat or hire a Cab to get him out saftley to catch or perhaps not catch a fish. This about what's about fair for everyone.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2011
  17. Ding Dong!

    Ding Dong! Guest

    Wow! Now that's one hell of a tin boat you've got there. Very nice. http://www.sportfishingbc.com/forum...ady-232-Rigger-Question&highlight=grady+derby

    I can recognize the noble aspect of what you'd like to accomplish, however the unfortunate side to this "battle" is that your group will have a harder time in accomplishing consensus where it counts in order to make the changes that you want, happen. Your group created an us Vs. them scenario amongst sectors, and unfortunately the Government won't fix anything based on that direction. Now you have created enemies instead of allies, and there are far too many conflicting messages as well. I can see great things being accomplished in the future if the relationships can be made by salvaging anything from the rubble of the battle that was between these two sectors.
  18. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Ignore him Derby

  19. chris73

    chris73 Well-Known Member

    Nice CL! Like that picture. And agree, he's not even fun or entertaining or any bit intelligent or informed. Just useless.
  20. Ding Dong!

    Ding Dong! Guest

    Maybe if everyone stops making the battle us Vs. them between the sectors, and instead of making your focus about what you don't want, and simply start to considerate on what you do want as an end result, there may actually be some hope. If you actually read what has been written, it is all about working together. That's ok, I have no problem leaving, it's only too obvious that you have it all under control. ;) "me being facetious".

    Ding Dong!

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