Research suggests DFO worsened impact of salmon fishery crisis

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by ChinookExerciser, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. ChinookExerciser

    ChinookExerciser Active Member

    Research suggests DFO worsened impact of salmon fishery crisis

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 28, 2020 /CNW/ - Unifor has released a new report that says artificially low catch limits over the past 25 years pushed the West Coast salmon fishing industry to the brink, leaving it unable to cope with the 2019 crisis.

    "The federal government created a commercial fishing economy so precarious that when the salmon collapsed this year, the industry went with it," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Commercial salmon fishing may never recover."

    The report shows that, until 2019, the overall number of salmon returning to BC remained stable for 63 years, yet the commercial fishing catch limits set by the federal government declined sharply in the mid-1990s without justification. Artificially low limits together with dropping landed value combined to undermine the livelihoods of the entire commercial fishing fleet on British Columbia's coast.

    "Help from the federal government is beyond urgent," says Joy Thorkelson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers' Union (UFAWU)-Unifor. "Hundreds of fish harvesters are facing financial ruin after decades of fisheries regulation mismanagement."

    UFAWU-Unifor says climate change is likely to blame for the 2019 West Coast salmon fishery collapse, during which catches were eight per cent of the 20-year average. The union is calling for federal government disaster relief to help workers and their families. Unifor is also asking the government to assist industry with developing a climate change adaptation plan.

    The report uses data from Greg Ruggerone's study Numbers and Biomass of Natural‐ and Hatchery‐Origin Pink Salmon, Chum Salmon, and Sockeye Salmon in the North Pacific Ocean, 1925–2015.

    Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

    SOURCE Unifor

    For further information: For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).

    Related Links

    Attached Files:

  2. Ruff

    Ruff Active Member

    "Its all the governments fault, now give us some money!" is all I get out of reading this post. Dont get me wrong, I empathize with these commercial fishermen who are losing their livelihoods but unfortunately they are operating in a resource sector that has good years and bad. Every logger, miner, driller etc has been dealing with the same ebbs and flows of being in a natural resource based economy. I feel for these guys, I really do but blaming the government seems to be the fashionable thing to do these days and they shouldn't be getting a dime of yours and my hard earned tax dollars.
    walleyes and Copper Moon like this.
  3. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    The sad but true fact is that DFO's politically motivated, underfunded, voodoo "science based" decades long mis-management on the west coast has lead and is leading us to a permanent decline in our salmon fisheries. There is no ebb and flow here like in other resource based sectors - just unfortunately ebb. Don't think so? Ask the cod fishers on our east coast, talk to the lobster fishers. How are the wild Atlantic salmon populations doing back there? What kind of public fishery access do citizens have back east?

    We need to fight and fight hard and fast to protect the public fishery here on the west coast before DFO makes is like they have on the east coast - a small commercial and guiding sector and the rest for First Nations and as for the public fishery - very little left. We can't let this happen!
  4. onefish

    onefish Active Member

    Commies all but wiped out of the salmon game. Now they have their sights set on the next user group.
  5. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Two Words. You know what they are.

    Cuba Libre likes this.
  6. the butcher

    the butcher Well-Known Member

    DFO has a very simple policy. They don't mess with groups who can make their lives miserable. Unlike the commies and FN, recreational anglers will not block roads or sit outside of the DFO offices for days on end. We simply do not make their lives miserable enough and that's why we keep on getting picked on... Plain and simple as that. For DFO, it's all about the path of least resistance. The high level DFO people who hold high positions want to continue earning their 6 figure incomes without being hassled. We simply don't Piss them off enough. We know that, commies and FN knows that, and DFO knows that. So unless we are all prepared to not just petition or write useless letters and fill out useless surveys.. Nothing will change. Does anyone really think we even had a half decent chance last year? Does anyone truly believe that the letters we wrote were read or made any impact? I can guarantee they went straight to the shredding pile. Those letters could have been written by the pope and it wouldn't have made a difference.

    DFOs approach is simple. If DFO doesn't piss off the commies and FN then these 2 groups won't make their lives a living hell. Take a look at the article below. Why did they have to kill 1400 sockeye to do some sort of testing? Can you not test and sample what to you need without killing the fish? And where did those 1400 sockeye go? Read the article and see for yourself.

    If we don't have the same mentality and go to the same levels that these 2 other groups pursue then we will never be on equal terms and will constantly be the pimply faced kid that gets our lunch monies stolen and stuffed into lockers for a good laugh.

    Think about it... If you were DFO and had a few different options which involved screwing over different interest groups... And you knew that 2 out of the 3 interest groups would chain themselves to your office doors, be in your face, stop traffic, make you and your department look bad and are willing to be relentless in this endeavor, and then you have a 3rd group that writes letters to let you know how bad the decision is and how much it would impact them and the BC econony and that was all they would do... Hmmmmm.. Which group would you choose to piss off???

    Until the time that we, the rec sector, stands up and realize we have just as much to loose as the these other 2 groups, and more importantly, are will to do something about it.. Nothing will change.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
    Powerset and fish brain like this.
  7. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    You GREATLY overestimate the influence much of the commercial fleets have, and especially so the Troll Fleet.
    In fact, I'd say the latter is even further down the ladder than the recreational fleet is.

    And btw, while interesting that one of our local Chiefs stooped to common thievery, I fail to see how that relates to your post whatsoever?

  8. Powerset

    Powerset Active Member

    The reality is in America when numbers dwindle the governments, State and Federal, invest, huge dollars in their fisheries. They recognized decades ago that this sector is vital to the nation’s economy! For too long it was the industry that kept on giving without the necessary investment. stocks have severely declined but this was not an OMG moment. This has been going on for the 30 years I’ve been fishing. BC is too far from Ottawa, period. During most elections the outcome is decided before a single vote is cast in BC. But Our Province has done nothing for salmon enhancement except rubber stamp industrial and Residential developments across critical habitat. Doing more harm than good! I look at it this way, if our fishery is completely shot, dead, who suffers? Ottawa? No, We do, British Columbians. We lose jobs, we lose businesses and the tax revenue that comes with all that. Our government wants to boast of balanced budgets, while the feds dig a 28 billion hole every year. Are we safer in bc economically ? No because our government has invested nothing in our salmon fishery. wouldn’t a big investment here come back in spades if our fishery was healthy. What good is a balanced budget if half the Fishing Industry in bc goes away? we can’t go on strike and demand better working conditions or a pay raise. We’re lucky if we get to go to work at all this year, and half of us don’t even know if we get to go to work this year. Our government is keeping it a secret again this year, open or closed. We sit in complete limbo as our Provincial and Federal Governments play the violin while our lives burn. It’s time for the BC Government to invest, big time, the feds are a joke, we don’t matter to them. Well do we have meaning to our Provincial Gov’t? Deficit spending is necessary and I would make one other observation. If our fishery was healthy would a big investment here by our province even be a deficit? Wouldn’t our growth and our prosperity cut away at such a needy deficit anyway? Screw the feds our Province needs to stand up right now.
    jim morrow and IronNoggin like this.
  9. chromatose007

    chromatose007 Active Member

    walleyes likes this.
  10. shuswap

    shuswap Active Member

    Before reading Unifor’s take on the data in the report I encourage members to read at least the abstract to see what the report is really saying. Not surprised by the industry response in the news article as they are advocating for their sector but when you read the study they refer to it paints another picture. Commercial fishermen/women who are involved in test fisheries sell their catch to fund their ability to operate the test fishery they are conducting. If they can’t sell the catch then the money to do those inseason test fisheries needs to come from somewhere or those test fisheries would cease. Without test fisheries the ability to plan ANY fisheries would be negatively impacted. I’m not sure what relevance that Alberni news article has to test fishing either.
    IronNoggin and agentaqua like this.

Share This Page