Premier wades into fishery closure debate

John Horgan questions the federal government’s approach

Premier John Horgan is wading into the debate on the possible expansion of restricted fishing zones on south and west Vancouver Island.

Earlier this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced a recreation fishing closure until Oct. 1 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Otter Point to East Point, near Port Renfrew, and some areas around the Gulf Islands.

This month DFO also sought public feedback on further fishing closures in two additional areas: the waters on the continental shelf off the southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse Banks, and the waters of the west Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit.

RELATED: Proposed fishing restrictions will be devastating: officials

DFO says the fishing restrictions are aimed at protecting critical habitat areas for killer whales and to save dwindling chinook salmon stocks.

But Horgan, who is also the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, in a letter to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says that while he supports efforts to recover the killer whale populations, he questions the federal government’s approach.

“The process through which [DFO] Pacific Region staff engaged with stakeholders over the recently enacted southern resident killer whale-related closure in the Strait of Juan de Fuca left many stakeholders questioning the value of engaging in such a process,” Horgan wrote.

RELATED: Fishing ban a ‘devastating blow’ for Sooke

He said the new round of public feedback gives little time for those associated with the industry to respond in a timely fashion, with many Indigenous, recreational and commercial stakeholders engaged in peak-season operations.

“It appears the Pacific Region is more focused on short-term fixes rather than on presenting a cohesive plan that will accomplish these goals over the long term,” Horgan said.

Horgan isn’t the only local politician who is questioning DFO’s request for feedback on further fishing closures, with Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is also writing to LeBlanc.

“The thought of a potential fishing ban has many of my constituents very concerned with the future of their livelihoods,” wrote MacGregor.

“Any proposed closures to salmon fisheries in the Strait of Juan de Fuca must be balanced with an understanding of the role of fishing communities in moving conservation and enhancement efforts forward in order to be effective.”

Following the feedback from the public on recovery strategy for the west coast of the Island, DFO plans to draw up a proposal, and again consult the public. This is expected to happen in late summer.

To give your feedback to the DFO on their recovery strategy, please go online to www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

Province now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Oak Bay lawn bowling team takes gold in Qualicum Beach

Brent Jansen and Karen Evans take win at Canadian Lawn Bowling Mixed Pairs Championships

Victorians for Tranportation Choice survey Greater Victoria election candidates

Mayoral and council candidates from across Greater Victoria face 12 questions

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Dozens line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read