SFI Up date

Discussion in 'Important Meetings, Derbys and SFBC Get Togethers' 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.
    Derby likes this.
  9. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino 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


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