SFI Up date

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Derby, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    I don't follow Facebook so I have no idea what is being said there. I do follow the science and have been watching what is happening down south where anglers, scientist and policy makers are coming together to speak as one voice. Maybe they are more effective then we seem to be when talking about this subject on social media. Maybe another way to look at this is to think of who your target audience is with this message. To me we are selecting a target audience that frankly will do our side more harm than good. Are we going after the fringe view old generation or are we going after a younger more activist type. What wave are we trying to ride. The far right or the far left? I suggest just tell me the myth and here is the fact rather then this new strategy that seems keen on a conspiracy theroy.
  2. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

  3. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Thank you to all who attended, participated and contributed to the Annual SFI Conference and Big Splash Fundraiser.

    Last Thursday, a full conference of interested anglers, guides, lodge operators, and representatives from a variety of businesses converged on the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for the annual sport fishing industry policy conference. Attendees heard presentations that began with remarks from Minister Wilkinson and on topics including the International Year of the Salmon, the Province's Wild Salmon Advisory Council, the Heart of the Fraser region and initiative as launched by BCWF, a preliminary 2019 salmon outlook, on catch monitoring, and on the status of Rockfish. The conference concluded with a productive and extremely informative presentation by Dr. Andrew Trites, Professor and Director, Marine Mammal Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of BC. His presentation provided background on the state of seal movement and impacts in the Salish Sea, concerns about specific animals around rivers and estuaries, and what is known about the current state of Southern Resident Killer Whales.

    We have posted most of the presentations on our website at this Conference link and will upload remaining presentations as soon as they become available.

    The consensus seems to be that we had a great conference.

    Visit the News section of the SFI site to take a look.

    Following the conference, a couple hundred people enjoyed an evening of food, drink, and auctions at the Big Splash gala fundraiser. We honoured this year’s Bob Wright Legacy Award recipient, Jeremy Maynard and all seemed to enjoy our second year at a downtown venue.

    Thanks again to all those who came out and supported the SFI.

    Southern Resident Killer Whales and SRKW.org

    We continue to build a library of articles and details about SRKW on the SFI website in the Issues Section and encourage you to visit and share SRKW.org for details about Whales, Seals and the sport fishing communities interest in achieving solutions for all involved.

    CTAG and 2019 Fishing BC Coop Program
    We also want to remind guides and lodge operators that the CTAG challenge program is available. Those who complete enrollment before the New Year will be able to receive their training credit of 1,000.00 at tax time in 2019 (aside from other promotional, insurance, and cost saving benefits). Experienced guides who meet all requirements of the CTAG program are encouraged to take advantage of the program and get their certification before the new year or this winter. Enroll online and go to any Service BC office to complete the challenge.

    Tight Lines,

    The Sport Fishing Institute of BC Team
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  4. fish brain

    fish brain Crew Member

    I wish I could have attended.
    This is really great Derby. I really appreciate the links you posed here, as it makes it simple to find the information. I also appreciate SFI posting all the presentations on their website for easy access. It is things like this that make it easier to stay informed about our sport.
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  5. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    January 17, 2019


    The team at the SFI is on a number of fronts that are part of planning for the 2019 season. Many of the issues that emerged or developed through 2018 continue. We provide you an update on things to come and that are underway early in this New Year;

    Southern Resident Killer Whales - SRKW

    Potential management measures to protect SRKW are the subject of a significant amount of dialogue, particularly following the announcement regarding the expansion of the critical habitat zones off the south west coast of Vancouver Island and the northern coast of Haida Gwaii. DFO and TC Technical Working Groups met for the first time this week. Outcomes and decisions are expected before the SRKW return this Spring.

    The SRKW issue is well publicized and documented, (links to relevant documents are on the SFI website here) as is the sustained request and support of the SFAB, the SFI, and others for science based measures to provide improved access to prey, minimize disturbance, address contaminants and to develop a plan to address specific predator control of seals.

    Speculation is neither healthy or productive. Your SFI representatives are working on this issue and will keep you informed with the facts as they become available.



    International Pacific Halibut Commission - IPHC: January 28 - February 1

    The SFI will be heading to Victoria for the Annual IPHC meetings at the end of January. A contingent of SFI members and staff will attend and participate as a part of Canada's delegation, which includes commercial, First Nations and recreational fishing representatives, to negotiate halibut catch for the 2019 season. We will report on the outcome following the meetings.

    [​IMG] Vancouver International Boat Show - February 6 to 10

    Check out SFI member exhibitors at the Vancouver Boat Show or catch SFI members and staff, including Tom Davis, David Korsch and Mike Kelly presenting at the free seminar series. The show runs from the Wednesday to Sunday. A link to the seminar schedules here

    SFI, DFO and the Province at the Boat Show
    Raising Awareness about Rockfish and Descending Devices

    The SFI will be at the Vancouver IBS this year, to raise awareness about Rockfish stocks on the BC coast and to distribute descending devices. Descending devices can successfully return rockfish to depth, saving the fish from harm caused by coming to the surface. Rockfish, like human divers, suffer from the bends or barotrauma. Provided rockfish are returned to a similar depth to which they were caught, survival is excellent. Without a speedy return to the depths, rockfish will succumb and die.

    Visit the SFI booth, 258, at the Boat Show in Vancouver, later in February in Victoria and in early March in Abbotsford and receive a free descending device.

    January is SFI and CTAG Membership renewal time

    As a SFI member you will, if you haven't already, receive a renewal invoice by e-mail in the coming weeks. We thank you for your ongoing support and commit to continue to work on your behalf to maintain or improve access to sustainable fishing opportunities.

    And as a member, we encourage you to take advantage of the SFI and all of our member benefits. Please feel free to call or write regarding any questions or issues you may encounter related to sport fishing in BC. Our team and board of directors work to advocate on your behalf and to be knowledgeable regarding issues and policies affecting our sector.

    We will be pleased to assist, or provide direction on issues that may require input from or work with Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and numerous Ministries in the Province.

    If you aren't a member of the SFI but are interested please give us a call to discuss or visit the SFI website for more information about enrollment and what we do.

    As mentioned, we'll send out an update following the IPHC meetings and with any relevant news as it happens. Expect to hear more about SRKW, Yelloweye Rockfish, catch monitoring efforts, and the Fishing BC app as we get further in to 2019

    Until next time, tight lines,

    The SFI Team

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Please take a moment to visit sfi website ..the link is in the SRKW section to get updates and the right information on were we are currently regarding SRKW ... check out srkw.org also...
  7. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Proud supporter! right here! keep up the amazing work! Glad to renew my membership for another year!

    ILHG and Derby like this.
  8. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Thanks Owen and Martin for lobby for us! you two are work horses!! so glad i'm a member of SFI.



    Mr. Owen Bird (Executive Director, Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia):
    I will hand it off to Martin, but I'll begin.
    Hello, and thank you for the opportunity to appear before this committee once again.
    My name is Owen Bird and my colleague is Martin Paish. We're here to talk about the study of the regulation of the west coast fisheries, and we both represent the Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia, or the SFI.
    I'll take a moment to provide details about our organization and about the values of sport fishery in British Columbia and our continued interest in seeing the sector provided with appropriate resources to be effectively managed and to maximize opportunities. Martin will detail our concerns and specific experiences with quota.
    The SFI is a non-profit association that represents the interests of 300,000 licensed tidal water anglers in B.C. and the hundreds of businesses that support them. According to the 2016 provincial sector report, sport fishing and related businesses produce $1.1 billion in annual sales and create more than 9,000 jobs and 3,950 person-years of employment, resulting in a $398-million contribution to the province's GDP.
    Sport fishery is the single largest economic driver of all B.C. fisheries, even though anglers take only 15% of the annual halibut catch and less than 10% of the annual salmon harvest. As of 2010, the last update to the Fisheries and Oceans national recreational fishing survey—a survey that has been conducted every five years since 1975—said the sport fishing contribution to the Canadian economy was $8.3 billion annually. Yet efforts by the department to entrench reliable opportunity for the recreational sector—a very different requirement than for purely harvest-based fisheries—have been minimal.
    It has long appeared that the ability to meet the unique needs of the recreational sector are affected by the predisposition of the department to focus on the management of commercial fisheries. While it is acknowledged that the largest harvester should receive the greatest attention, we believe it is also reasonable that the fishery that produces a significantly higher value per fish, is responsible for only an estimated 4% of all fish harvested in Canada and touches the lives socially and economically of millions of Canadians would receive an appropriate level of dedicated resources to manage it to best advantage.
    In recognition of the different needs of the sector—reliability and opportunity—it would be reasonable to consider fishing plans with those needs in mind. However, what we've seen over many years and by governments previous to this one is diminished funding and attention to the recreational sector. As an example, while national policy and fisheries management directives explain that catch monitoring is critical to sound management, the funds made available for those purposes for the recreational sector have been continually eroded.
    However, we continue to be optimistic that the recreational vision—a co-operatively developed proposal to provide appropriate funding to the management of recreational fisheries and to recognize the values and unique needs of the sector—will be adopted and implemented.

    Mr. Martin Paish (Director, Business Development, Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia):
    The recreational fishery experience with quotas and owner-operator issues has been limited, to this time, to priority access discussions specifically with regard to chinook and coho salmon and to the halibut fishery, its quota-based allocation policy, and the XRQ licence. It's with halibut where first-hand experience with quota provides an opportunity to comment and offers an example of how ill-suited the recreational sector is to quota-based scenarios and to establishing access through quota acquisition.
    The recreational sector is dependent on reliable opportunity. While it's understood that quota is an effective and likely necessary tool for managing commercial fisheries, it is, in the case of the recreational sector, a limiting and unnecessarily divisive factor. The halibut quotas established in 2003 and 2012 did not fully recognize the needs of the recreational sector, and, as halibut biomass is lowered, the percentage-based access has significantly compromised the ability of the sector to generate maximum benefit from the resource by eroding reliable opportunity and increasing uncertainty and instability.
    The halibut licence experimental licence pilot program, or XRQ, is a by-product of an attempt to integrate recreational fisheries into a quota system. DFO's insistence that it could establish a successful market-based transfer mechanism through the temporary leasing of commercial quota to recreational anglers has been, by any measure, a failure. The program is struggling, both because it reinforces the notion that the opportunity to catch a halibut is a private property right that can be bought and sold and because it mixes commercial and sport-caught fish in a way that creates conflict, confusion and discord.
    Since its inception, the program has seen minimal use—in fact, only two-tenths of 1% of the Canadian TAC in 2018—not because there is no desire for more access but because there is a general understanding amongst anglers that the program is misguided and problematic on many levels. The level of accountability for the catch and use of the XRQ quota is limited to the point of being inappropriate. Loopholes for abuse abound.
    The cost to the department to administer and enforce the program, particularly during periods of reduced DFO resources, has been of great interest to the SFAB, and yet requests to know what has been invested in this program and what the returns on these efforts are have not been satisfied. To explain further, the XRQ licence allows anglers who can afford to lease commercial quota to fish when the season is otherwise closed and to exceed established bag and size limits, which, to a fault, contradicts both the spirit and intent of the B.C. sport fishing regulations.
    The XRQ licence does not provide additional opportunities for the recreational sector as intended. Rather, it establishes a two-tiered system that provides extra fish to wealthy individuals or opportunists. How is it appropriate that a common property resource is controlled by a small group of speculators who also have the right to lease it back to Canadians, so that they can catch more than the legal bag limit and fish outside the normal season, when those who can't afford the quota and are likely fishing for food are restricted by slot limits and closed? It is totally unfair and represents a perversion of what a public fishery based on a common property resource should rightly be. It is our strong position that the XRQ licence is an experiment that needs to end.
    The two fisheries have different needs. The commercial sector needs a volume of landed fish to sell over a season. The allocation available helps to set the price commercial fishermen can charge for their catch. The recreational fishery needs an ability and opportunity to catch halibut during a predictable season that allows for planning and related spending for visiting and local anglers and the businesses that provide fishery-related goods and services to them. For the recreational fishery, the balance between certainty, stability and access to a reasonable season length is what drives its value to Canadians. When access is diminished by shortened seasons due to a lack of quota, the small coastal communities feel the pinch in a very real sense.
    It is our position that the current halibut allocation policy shows a lack of appreciation and understanding of the unique needs of our sector. Instead, it seems that the solution was provided from a purely commercial context. We believe that increasing the amount of quota allocated to the recreational fishery will allow it to optimize its significant social and economic value to Canadians. These benefits are typically felt in small coastal communities adjacent to the fishery. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution. We acknowledge that the investment and needs of active commercial fishermen need to be recognized and addressed.
    Finally, our sector recognizes that halibut is but one fishery. It is a concern that what has happened with halibut may have implications for other species in the future.
    Thank you for taking the time to listen to us. We would welcome additional attention to the recreational fishery, not only to maximize its value to Canada but also so that the department may better understand that quota-based management is a shoe that does not fit, in our case.
    Newf and Derby like this.
  9. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Yes we are lucky to have such fine individuals representing all of us, even those that don’t belong to the SFI.
  10. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Early 2019 has been busy for the team at the SFI. As occurs each year, delegates from US and Canadian commercial and sport halibut fishing groups gathered in Victoria to participate in the 95th annual International Pacific Halibut Commission’s meeting. That session was followed shortly after by the Main Board SFAB meetings, Pacific Salmon Commission meetings in Portland and ongoing and developing discussion regarding SRKW and Fraser River Chinook issues and planning for the 2019 season.

    The 2019 IPHC meetings were more productive than last year where, for only the second time in the 95 years of the Commission, an agreement was not reached. This year there was not only an agreement but progress and commitments were made on a number of fronts. The issue of effects on the Pacific halibut biomass by persistent and long term by-catch of young halibut in Alaskan fisheries targeting other species continues. These young fish are the future recruits to the directed halibut fishery. Fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea have consistently harvested huge numbers of these small and young fish while BC’s fisheries have done a very good job of minimizing by-catch and reducing impacts on recruits. It is against this background that Canada negotiated an approach that rejects equal reductions Pacific coast wide and instead considers proportional catch based on historical ratios and catch and effort information.

    This is a complex issue and while Pacific halibut seem to be well managed, there continues to be a divergent opinion on how the halibut biomass moves along the coast, how the stocks are distributed and, how to properly address the by-catch issue. But, this year, to the credit of the Canadian Commissioners, some major strides were taken to accounting for by-catch in non-directed fisheries and to provide Canadians with predictability in the form of a fixed percentage and a share over the next 4 years at least. The 95th IPHC session ended with very minor reductions from 2018, of approximately 4%, resulting in a recreational TAC virtually unchanged from last year.

    With the 2019 TAC set, the Sport Fishing Advisory Board, through technical working groups, regional committees and then the Main Board meetings, has provided advice to DFO on management measures and season length based on a set of guiding principles provided by the sport fishing community. Based on those discussions and with general agreement that the current allocation equation is not suitable, the recommendation put forward by the SFAB is to open halibut on March 1, 2019 until December 31, 2019. The season length is based on in season review of catch by DFO. In 2019, to provide best options for the coast, a hybrid approach has been recommended. Daily catch and possession limits are the same as 2018 from March 1 to March 31; a 6 halibut annual limit, 2 fish in possession and, 1/day with one halibut up to 115 cm (approximately 43 lbs.) and the other up to 83 cm (approximately 15lbs.). However, the recommendation for the 2019 season, beginning April 1 is to allow either 1 fish daily and in possession up to 126 cm (approximately 60 lbs.). or 1 fish/day, 2 in possession with both fish under 90cm (approximately 20 lbs.). It is expected that the 2019 licence season, which begins April 1, will get underway with those new halibut limits and sizes. The season length is based on in season review of catch by DFO. Should the recreational catch limit be met or exceeded before December 31, the recreational halibut fishery could be closed.

    Still about Halibut, the SFI recently had the opportunity to appear before the Fisheries and Oceans Standing Committee in Ottawa to provide comment about the Regulation of Western Fisheries. It was a unique chance to provide remarks about the values of the public fishery in BC, halibut allocation and the experimental halibut lease program, or the XRQ. It has been awhile since we have discussed this program in a SFI update but the facts remain, the allocation arrangement and the XRQ are both deeply flawed. The XRQ, rather than providing additional fishing opportunities for the recreational sector it has created a two-tiered, commercial\recreational fishery where the BC sport fishing regulations don’t apply. And, due to expense, convoluted procedures and limited DFO resources, the XRQ licences are not properly monitored or enforced. The best outcome for the XRQ is its elimination. We were able to make a strong point of this to the Parliamentary committee and can only hope there will be some productive recommendations that come from their study including a review of the allocation of halibut and the elimination of the XRQ.

    Sport Fishing Advisory Board - SFAB
    As mentioned, the SFAB Main Board recently met to discuss halibut and many other issues facing the sector for the upcoming season. A part of the process is a bi-annual election, and the 2019 winter Main Board meeting saw Gerry Kristianson, who had been the Chair for more than 10 years, stepping down this year. A debt of gratitude is owed to Gerry that will be difficult, if not impossible to ever repay. His tireless efforts and contributions to virtually every facet of recreational fisheries on the BC coast cannot be overstated. The sport fishing community has benefited from his leadership and efforts as a result. The SFI has recognized Gerry as one our Bob Wright Legacy Award recipients and he is a recipient of DFO's National Recreational Fisheries Award among other recognition of his efforts and contributions. While Gerry has stepped down as Chair, he will occupy the Past Chair seat on the Main Board of the SFAB and was recently appointed to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission.

    The incoming SFAB Chair is the SFI’s Martin Paish. With over 40 years experience along our entire coast and 25 years with the SFAB process, Martin was the ideal candidate and has stepped into the role.
  11. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Fraser River Chinook and 2019 Salmon Fishery Planning
    The processes involved in developing fishing plans for the 2019 season are now underway and will wind up in April.

    Salmon fisheries, chinook in particular, will require careful planning and recognition that there are some Fraser River runs of chinook that need special attention and consideration. Adjustments to plans for 2019 and following years will be implemented to help ensure that particular stocks are afforded the best opportunity to return to natal streams and to spawn in the greatest numbers possible. There is solid data regarding recreational catch impacts in the Georgia Strait on Fraser River stocks that show the limits and restrictions in place have been effective at keeping impacts to a minimum. Even so, it may be that opportunity take the form of retention of hatchery chinook at times of the year or in combination with specific size restrictions. Using measures such as those mentioned above, conservation concerns can be addressed and the ocean impacts on known stocks of concern can be minimized. The SFI and SFAB are engaged in the processes and discussions underway now and will continue to seek opportunity to aid in the conservation of particular stocks while seeking reliable and sustainable access to other salmon species and stocks of Chinook.

    The values of opportunity and reliability for the public fishery must be a consideration in the decision-making process yet there is some doubt that those values are currently included in the discussion. To help remedy that oversight, it has been extremely helpful to see that a mobilized sport fishing community has been sending letters of concern to urge DFO to make decisions that will not only aid chinook conservation but also do not forget the social and economic value of sport fishing to small communities and to British Columbians.

    Speaking of Values, it is worth noting that the Province recently released an updated British Columbia’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector Report. We have a copy of this available on our site but a few significant details to share here:

    The BC sport fishing sector (2016 data):

    • $1.1 billion in annual sales
    • $398 million GDP contribution to BC
    • 9000 jobs resulting in 3950 person-years of employment

    Southern Resident Killer Whales - SRKW

    Potential management measures to protect SRKW are the subject of a significant amount of dialogue, particularly following the announcement regarding the expansion of the critical habitat zones off the south west coast of Vancouver Island and the northern coast of Haida Gwaii. DFO and TC Technical Working Groups continue to meet, and outcomes and decisions are expected before the SRKW return this Spring.

    The SRKW issue is well publicized and documented, (links to relevant documents are on the SFI website here) as is the sustained request and support of the SFAB, the SFI, and others for science-based measures to provide improved access to prey, minimize disturbance, address contaminants and to develop a plan to address much needed predator control of problem seals in specific areas and times.

    As you may have seen, in addition to the SFI website, which includes many documents about SRKW, chinook and pinnipeds, a dedicated site, SRKW.org, is a source of some basic details and suggestion of several actions that could be a part of a suite of activities that could aid in the recovery of SRKW. Please check out the site and encourage those who may be less informed or are interested in familiarizing themselves with the issue to visit the site. SRKW.org

    Whether it is salmon, halibut or SRKW issues, it continues to be the case that speculation is neither healthy or productive. Your SFI representatives are working on each of these issues and will continue to provide updates as the processes continue.

    Raising Awareness: Rockfish and Descending Devices
    See us at the Victoria Boat, Fishing & Outdoor Show
    The SFI will be at the Victoria Show, February 22-24, to raise awareness about Rockfish stocks on the BC coast and to distribute descending devices. Descending devices can successfully return rockfish to depth, saving the fish from harm caused by coming to the surface. Rockfish, like human divers, suffer from the bends or barotrauma. Provided rockfish are returned to a similar depth to which they were caught, survival is excellent. Without a speedy return to the depths, rockfish will succumb and die.

    See you in Victoria or in early March at the Abbotsford show.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    SFI Membership
    If you aren't a member of the SFI but are interested, please give us a call to discuss membership or visit the SFI website for more information about enrollment and what we do.
    Until next time, tight lines,

    The SFI Team
    Check out the Fishing BC App on iOS or Android

  12. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    To big to attached see link....


    Re: Appearance before the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans - February 4, 2019

    The Sport Fishing Institute of BC comments regarding the study of Western Fisheries
    Regulations and the XRQ Halibut Licence
    In 2003, under pressure from the commercial halibut fleet to limit the public harvest of halibut,
    then Minister Thibault announced his intention to create and assign quota to the public fishery
    as well as the commercial fleet. Despite considerable debate and contrary to advice offered by
    the Sport Fishing Advisory Board, the Minister settled on an 88\12 allocation split, gifting access
    to 88% of Canada’s halibut resource to roughly 400 individuals while limiting the rest of
    Canadians to 12%......
    Derby likes this.
  13. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    March 12, 2019


    As has become evident over the last several years, there are specific stocks of Fraser River Chinook that are in a serious state of conservation concern and require attention. It is hoped that DFO will take swift action to improve Fraser River stream type salmonid production through opportunities such as strategic and careful enhancement, predator control and habitat rehabilitation.

    Scenario B - Retaining Opportunity
    On February 5th DFO distributed a discussion document that outlined the Fraser River Chinook issue and presented two example scenarios for consideration. Scenario B would reduce the CYER (CYER; all mortalities, across all fisheries divided by the total estimated size of the run) of the stocks of concern to 10%, a number that DFO declared as acceptable in the discussion document. Scenario B involves the use of bag limit reductions (to 1 per day, 2 in possession) in Johnstone Strait and Northern Strait of Georgia from April 1 to the end of August. It is also incorporates a mark selective fishery and bag limit reduction of one hatchery marked fish per day from April 1st to July 31st, with the option to retain one chinook per day marked or unmarked from the month of August for the migration corridor from the western entrance of Juan De Fuca Strait to the Fraser River mouth. The detailed description of the scenario recommended by the SFAB is here.

    In contrast, Scenario A details a 5% CYER option which would require non-retention of Chinook for the public fishery from April 1st to July 31st. This Scenario would effectively destroy the reputation, opportunity and prospects of the public fishery while reducing the exploitation rate of Chinook by the public fishery by only .8 % over Scenario B. While there are significant concerns about some runs of Fraser River Chinook and it is important that all sectors adjust catch impacts, implementation of Scenario A is neither a biologically necessary or a socially responsible approach. Public fishery impacts on these stocks are extremely low already, and the additional conservation benefit to stocks that would be achieved from implementing non-retention in the public fishery versus a mark selective fishery, MSF, combined with bag limit reductions amounts to less than a 1% difference, yet the social and economic impacts would be devastating.

    While neither approach is desirable for the public fishery, given the state of conservation concern, the SFAB has suggested that Scenario B represents an approach that almost eliminates the impacts on stocks of concern in the public fishery. Scenario B continues to fulfill the legal requirement for the public fishery to “bear the brunt” of conservation measures which must take place before DFO can choose to impose restrictions on First Nations FSC fisheries. It is in the FSC fisheries where the bulk of the harvest of these stocks would take place if scenario B were to be implemented.

    It is worth repeating, the difference in public fishery CYER between Scenario B and Scenario A is a reduction of only 0.8%! When considering the benefit of harvest measures to the stocks of concern versus social and economic cost (this is a relationship that is important for DFO to include in development of management decisions), it is inconceivable how DFO could contemplate the short- and long-term socio-economic impacts to small coastal communities that would result should Scenario A be implemented.

    It is important that the public fishery is participant in a sustainable approach and addresses conservation concerns in a meaningful way. Scenario B is a far cry from providing the opportunity and expectation that would allow the public fishery to thrive and represents “survival mode” for our fishery. It is a plan that we hope can be considered only in the short term and would be paired with much more effective actions to help the stocks of concern recover.
  14. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Making the point - Letters to the Minister
    To that end, decisions have not been made by the department or the Minister at this time. Some have sent letters to the department to describe the importance of opportunity personally and to the public fishery. Timing is good and it is important to send letters to the Minister now to make the same point and before decisions are made. Letters should express the values and importance of opportunity personally and to small communities coast wide and that decisions must be considered against the benefits of any management measures adopted. It is important that steps are taken to address conservation concerns but when DFO’s evidence shows that one scenario will retain opportunity for the angling community and the other will eliminate it, the imbalance must be highlighted; by all measures, the socio-economic costs are far greater than the benefit to the resource. Minister Wilkinson can be reached at: min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

    Looking Ahead - Fish for the Future
    The use of mark selective fisheries, MSF, to focus harvest on fin clipped hatchery produced fish thereby moving harvest away from unmarked stocks of concerns will be an effective conservation tool for DFO to use. But it does significantly restrict opportunity in areas with low mark rates. To address this, and significantly increase the availability of marked hatchery salmon in many areas of BC without producing even a single additional hatchery fish, we believe that the implementation of mass marking of all hatchery produced chinook and coho salmon in BC is long overdue and should be an immediate priority for DFO. For many hatcheries the mark rate is at or even below 10% on chinook, while our neighbours to the south mark 100%. This is simply unacceptable in the era of conservation of wild salmon, and regulations that severely restrict opportunity on unmarked fish.

    As we began, in order to see some real light and hope for recovery of Fraser River Chinook, Coho and Steelhead, we need significant and immediate investment in the production of these fish. Rather than focussing on the end of the life cycle and harvest of salmon, urgent attention and funding is required to dedicate to strategic enhancement techniques, predator control and habitat restoration. In this era of nine figure investment in research, its high time DFO and the Province of BC invested in the future of fisheries that support communities. We further urge DFO to use the best available knowledge and technology to give struggling runs a jump start to recovery and to provide long term improvements in survival from juveniles to returning adults. Without this investment and immediate attention, the future of these fish and the animals and communities that depend on them will remain uncertain. It is time for DFO to start investing in things that will provide hope for both the recovery of the fish and the future for fisheries.


    Following successful and productive work on the West coast Vancouver Island, the SFI and DFO will continue to build on the Guide and Lodge Logbook programs to improve catch data on the coast. The approach is based on an understanding that guides and lodges provide valuable information about fish and fisheries not well covered by a diminished creel survey. As expansion continues and the value of the program is clear, DFO has taken steps to make participation mandatory wherever it determines that log books should be a component of catch records for the recreational fishery. The catch data collected from the guide and lodge community is increasingly important due to both the details collected and the ability to review data on a timely basis. The SFI will continue to work in collaboration with DFO to provide training, materials and in season support to participants. By sharing the responsibility for proving the case for a sustainable and responsible fishery, guides are doing their part to either maintain or provide increased opportunity for all anglers.

    Contact the SFI with questions or to obtain a log book, sampling materials or to enroll in the anticipated Guide Log Book module of the Fishing BC app.

    As we have discussed before, released rockfish need help to return to depth in order to survive. Due to changing limits and restrictions, many rockfish must be released. While not a target fish, Yelloweye (and other rockfish) are often encountered while fishing for other species.

    As a reminder, when caught and brought rapidly to the surface rockfish suffer from Barotrauma. This is the life-threatening condition, referred to as the "bends" in deep water scuba divers, which causes nitrogen bubbles to form in the blood stream and tissue. In rockfish it causes eyes to bulge and stomachs to be forced inside out and unless the fish are returned to a similar depth from which they were captured they will die.

    As many of you now know, this condition can be helped and rather than leaving a rockfish to float and die on the surface, there are a few things that can be done. Take steps to avoid Yelloweye habitat when fishing for other species, ensure you know how to properly identify the species and acquire and be prepared to use a descending device. With a descending device, which is expected to be mandatory equipment this coming year, a Yelloweye (or any rockfish) returned to depth has an approximately 80% chance of survival as opposed to 0% if left at the surface.

    The Fishing BC app is available for free on both Apple and Android platforms. Benefiting from DFO’s considerable reorganization of information flow, the Fishing BC app provides unique and easy, real-time access to regulations based on location. Because of how DFO has organized information on their new website and to be delivered to the app, anglers now have access to virtually everything they need to know on their portable electronic devices in real-time. In addition to providing current regulatory information, the Fishing BC app has several other important features:

    • It displays an electronic copy of your recreational licence and is a permanent record of your catch log;
    • It allows photos and entries to be shared by social media or e-mail directly from the app
    This season, the Fishing BC app will be capable of serving as a guide catch log. We look forward to additional modifications and will keep you posted on new developments.


    Fishing BC, a collaborative marketing effort with the SFI, BC Fishing Resort and Outfitters Association, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, a long list of community partners and Destination BC, was recognized for Marketing Innovation at BC’s Tourism Industry Association recent Industry Awards Event.

    This program, providing opportunity for small communities and businesses to market their sport fishing product to consumers in BC and across borders both south and east, seeks to improve the promotion and awareness of saltwater angling in BC.

    Watch for campaigns and activities on the Fishing BC website, on facebook and twitter. If you are interested, as a SFI member and sport fishing service provider or operator in BC, please be in touch with the SFI office and we can provide you with more information and details of promotional opportunities available as a result of the program.

    Until next time, tight lines,
    The SFI Team

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  15. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    April 18, 2019


    The SFI had a frank and direct discussion with Minister Wilkinson and senior DFO officials today. It should be noted that the fishery remains open until a Fishery Notice is posted. And, when the Fishery Notice is released it is important to note that salmon fishing is not closed but that there is a period of time where Chinook is non-retention only in southern BC waters.

    To be brief and to catch you before the beginning of a long weekend, the following summarizes the discussion points during a meeting with Minister Wilkinson and Senior DFO officials today;

    • SFI representatives voiced their dismay and alarm over the Minister's decision and the lack of balance it achieves between socioeconomic impacts and conservation benefits.
    • The Minister was firm in his belief that the restrictions in place are appropriate from a conservation and First Nations FSC priority access perspective, but was open to ideas to reduce impact to the public fishery that would not increase the overall exploitation rate on stocks of concern.
      • Areas of discussion included;
        • Ensuring that there is an open corridor along the WCVI to allow access for those communities not connected to an open area and fishing areas that are known to have zero or close to zero impact on the stocks of concern.
        • Same for mainland inlets like Knight, Kingcome, Toba and Bute
    • The urgent need for immediate progress and action on mass marking and selective marked fisheries.
    • The urgent need to address the barriers to chinook production on the Fraser such as the impact of predators.
    • The need to increase hatchery production on the Fraser where appropriate.


    As described in the linked attachment, DFO is conducting three community meetings next week to discuss measures considered for SRKW. We encourage you to attend the session closest to you.

    All events: Doors open at 5:00 pm and run from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

    • April 23 Victoria: Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa
    • April 24 Sooke: Prestige Oceanfront Resort
    • April 24 Richmond: Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport
    For more information on SRKW please visit the SFI website or SRKW.org

    Visit and share this short SRKW PSA too

    Wishing you and your families an enjoyable Easter long weekend.

    Until next time, tight lines,
    The SFI Team

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  16. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

  17. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, MP
    Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
    102 W 3 Street
    North Vancouver, BC V7M 1E8

    Dear Minister Wilkinson,

    July 15th is an important date for recreational anglers across the southern BC coast. Not only does it note nearly 3 months since your announcement of unnecessarily restrictive Chinook non-retention measures in the south coast, it is on that day that many areas of the BC coastline’s world-famous Chinook salmon fishery move beyond rules implemented on April 16th. The change will help to mitigate some of the serious economic damage that’s resulted yet for many coastal communities and areas, notably Juan de Fuca Strait and southern Georgia Strait, the restrictions remain at non-retention until the end of the month.

    While those important areas remain closed, the Fraser River will open on the 15th for harvest of Chinook and stocks of concern. Considering the significantly better than expected returns to the Fraser River, opportunity for retention of either Chinook or hatchery Chinook should be permitted in Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait at the same time, if not immediately. An adjustment recognizing the better than anticipated returns would reduce the economic harm to the public fishery and misconceptions about the abundance of Chinook salmon in the southern coast.

    The damage to reputation and economy of small communities and to the two largest angling communities in the province, Victoria and Vancouver, poses a significant and long-lasting challenge. There are businesses closing, staff laid off, uncertainty and doubt in the marketplace for the future and all this while returns of Chinook to the Fraser River are far in excess of what was predicted. Add that reports of marine abundance of hatchery Chinook in the southern Georgia Strait are described as the best in 20 years.

    Despite these positive developments, your department has not provided response or rationale or evidence of adaptability. In meetings held with the SFI and other members of the public angling community, you committed to have your department provide a review and comment on several proposals that would allow for opportunity for the public fishery and not compromise conservation objectives. Rather than flexibility or an explanation, the department has stood silently by a set of rules that are ineffective and unnecessary from a conservation perspective.

    Why are the department’s actions unnecessarily harsh? Because there has always been an option to allow recreational anglers to retain a hatchery produced Chinook that would not impact stocks of concern. This opportunity to retain hatchery fish would allow the public fishery and the businesses that support it to have some chance to salvage reputation. Instead, the media and department have chosen to focus only on the sensational details and have created a narrative that has led the public to believe that there are no fish or there is no fishing on coastal BC. This, of course could not be further from the truth. The coast is enjoying, as noted earlier, some of the best fishing for Chinook in recent memory. The public fishery and small communities would greatly benefit from a more accurate depiction of what is happening on our coast. And, opportunity to retain hatchery Chinook would have a significant impact on misconceptions.

    All hatchery Chinook produced in the US are easily identifiable on the fishing grounds, as they are “marked” by removal of the non-functional adipose fin. In Canada, only about 10% of our hatchery produced Chinook are marked in this way. As you know, under the current non-retention regime anglers are still allowed to fish for Chinook but anglers cannot keep a Chinook that was produced for harvest and is more than likely from WA state.

    To make the lack of flexibility in DFO’s management approach even harder to understand, the test fisheries on the Fraser River indicate 2019 returns well above the dire predictions of the spring. The numbers have placed these stocks at a level of “moderate abundance” compared to historic returns. Not “low abundance”, and certainly not “critically low abundance”, but a moderate return based on historical records. The dramatic increase in abundance is showing up all over the coast, even as far south as California and is likely a function of increased marine survival due to improved ocean conditions. Yet retention of Chinook that are produced to be caught is still not allowed?

    The rockslide on the Fraser River is of great concern to all of us. We are hopeful that the impacts of the slide will not pose long term challenges to Chinook and Sockeye migration. However, it is important to note that hatchery stocks of Chinook are not present in the Fraser above this obstacle. The timing of tidal non-retention was to allow those Fraser River Chinook stocks to pass in to the river. The slide should have no bearing on hatchery Chinook retention or regulations in tidal waters.

    When the SFI met with you in April and May, you explained it was the departments intent to honour limited food and ceremonial fisheries in the river. The SFI and representatives of the public fishery have never questioned the importance of meeting conservation objectives and support the right of First Nations to access Chinook for important ceremonies and to celebrate culture. So, it came as a disappointment that on a radio interview this past Sunday you explained that constitutionally guaranteed First Nations Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries were closed, with no gill nets permitted, and used that to explain the necessity for the public fishery to suffer a similar fate through non-retention. The radio interviewer made several attempts to seek clarification on this point and your response remained the same. Yet, according to records posted on the DFO website, there have been over 90 gill net openings on the Fraser River that not only coincide with the presence of the endangered stocks of concern but target them. As the Minister responsible for the fishery, it is deeply troubling that you could make such inaccurate statements and mislead the public on a matter of key importance.

    The time is now overdue to accept that hard working Canadian families are suffering needlessly by your departments unwillingness to acknowledge that the dire predictions of the spring were not accurate. And, that conservation objectives can be met while also allowing retention of marked hatchery Chinook in the public fishery. We urge you to rethink the misguided approach, allow for FSC fisheries to continue with relaxed restrictions, and allow for retention of hatchery produced Chinook in tidal waters in BC as soon as possible. These changes, while overdue, will help to demonstrate that your department is willing to adapt to change and provides encouragement and confidence for planning in 2020. In addition, it is critical that discussion between all sectors and the department begin regarding mark selective fisheries, hatchery production, marking practices in Canada and middle and long-term habitat, enhancement, recovery and restoration work.

    A first and immediate action should be to amend measures to all effected areas reflecting the better-than-anticipated returns to allow for Chinook or marked hatchery Chinook retention as soon as possible or by July 15. While severe damage has already occurred, the effects of this change might help businesses survive and to work on plans for the future.

    In April you told the SFI that you understood the sense of urgency and committed to looking at additional opportunities. Since then we and others in the community have proposed solutions that would help the public fishery sector and would not measurably increase or change risk to the stocks of concern. The department’s response has been to continually delay and defer without explanation. Every day is critical, and we need your help and attention to save BC public fishery business and culture now.

    We continue to await your response.


    Robert Alcock,

    Rebecca Reid, Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Fiona Simons, Pacific Desk, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard
  18. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Seen this getting blasted all over social media, Great update
    Derby likes this.
  19. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Im thinking DFO didn't think we would hold them accountable for the decision that they make... WRONG... we will and are holding them accountable..This minister needs to go......October is coming Minister Wilkinson.
    Whole in the Water and BigHog like this.
  20. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    September 6, 2019

    The Federal Election

    The next Federal election will be fast upon us and it is safe to say that this is likely to be one of the most important elections in decades for our fishery. Regardless of who or which party is elected, ensuring that the government understands, supports and is willing to invest in the future of our fishery and the resources that it depends upon has never been more important.

    Healthy, abundant salmon stocks and the fisheries they support are critically important to many British Columbians. With over 300,000 individuals who purchase recreational fishing licenses each year, the effects, impacts and benefits to small communities and businesses from access to sustainable resources is socially and economically vital to BC. We believe that our elected officials need to recognize and support initiatives to maintain and, where necessary and possible, rebuild salmon populations in order to avoid a repeat of the harmful and, in many cases, unnecessary restrictions that were imposed on fisheries on the South Coast in 2019.

    Here are some key points that every potential MP should be asked to address and provide a position for. Ask your local candidates;

    Do you and your party:

    • Support the use of hatchery-based enhancement to either maintain or rebuild salmon populations at a level that will support vibrant, healthy, sustainable fisheries?
    • Support the use of Mass Marking and Mark Selective Fisheries as a way to provide access to abundant stocks of hatchery produced salmon and avoid wild stocks of concern?
    • Support the need for government to enforce existing laws and regulations that protect salmon habitat, and invest in habitat rehabilitation initiatives to promote long term sustainability?
    • Support the idea of science-based predator control in specific areas to address the unprecedented impacts that predators are incurring on salmon stocks?
    • Understand the importance of the public fishery to your riding, and the impact that a lack of certainty and stability in regulations and access has on businesses and citizens who either support or participate in the fishery?
    • Understand the impact that open net pen salmon farming has on wild salmon, and support a transition to mandatory closed containment salmon farming by 2025? (for more detail please click here)
    • Understand that fishery resources are a common property resource, managed by the Federal Government at tax-payers expense for the benefit of all Canadians, and are willing to support the idea that all Canadians should be able to benefit from those resources in a meaningful way?
    We urge all SFI members to make candidates understand that the public fishery is important to you and your community. Get out there, ask the questions and make sure your potential MP understands that the public fishery is important to their riding, that their feedback on these important issues is vitally important, and that their responses will be held to account following the election.

    2019 The Big One Raffle – Winners Announced
    Thanks to all of your support, the first Big One Raffle was a great success. Thank you to all ticket purchasers and to the sponsor and contributors to the raffle. The raffle would not have been possible without the contributions and assistance of our sponsors.

    Much thanks and appreciation go to:

    • Darren Wright, Island Outfitters
    • Al Belhumeur, Pro Line Sports
    To the prize contributors:

    • Kingfisher Boats
    • Yamaha Motors
    • GA Checkpoint
    • Langara Fishing Adventures
    • Nootka Marine Adventures
    • Okuma Fishing Tackle
    • Lowrance
    • Scotty
    And, Congratulations to the winners!:

    Grand Prize:
    2019 1825 Kingfisher and Yamaha Boat package
    (Valued at $59,000) - C. Noble, Victoria

    Trip for Two to Haida Gwaii
    Langara Fishing Adventures Fishing - (Valued at $11,000) - J. Campbell, Quesnel

    Trip for Two in Nootka Sound
    Nootka Marine Adventures Fishing - (Valued at $5,385) - L. Keay, Delta, BC

    We are planning to do a raffle again soon so please watch for announcements. Good luck to you next time!

    Annual Policy Conference and Big Splash Fundraiser - November 15

    There are many things developing for the sport fishing community and the SFI as we move into the fall. We will send additional member updates as emerging items and details require. We'll provide more details as the date nears and tickets will be on sale soon but remember to mark you calendar for November 15. We are holding our Annual Policy Conference, the 2019 theme is Striving for Certainty and Stability, and the Big SplashGala and Fundraiser at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

    Until next time, tight lines,
    The SFI Team

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