Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. File photo, Pacific Wild

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. File photo, Pacific Wild

VIDEO: DFO investigates alleged illegal dump of herring in Deep Bay

Herring fisherman says dump is normal practice

A conservation group says a boat illegally dumped a load of herring in Deep Bay, but a career commercial herring fisherman says the alleged dump is par for the course.

On March 19, Conservancy Hornby Island responded to an anonymous tip that a commercial fishing vessel had dumped its load of herring after the packing vessel refused the catch, covering the sea floor beside the government dock in Deep Bay.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said it is investigating the alleged dumping incident.

Locky MacLean of Conservancy Hornby Island says the incident is further evidence that the herring fishery is “wasteful and unsustainable,” and needs to be shut down.

“Possibly the fish were either spawned out or they were too young, and the roe not large enough for the market,” CHI chair Grant Scott said in a news release. “It is wasteful to the marine environment and the fishing industry itself.”

According to herring fisherman Thomas Sewid, however, the number of dead fish is a normal accumulation due to fishers cleaning boats, and from seiners cleaning their nets at the dock, which is a loading zone where boats do their cleaning.

“My opinions are unbiased. I’m coming from a commercial fishing background, from a DFO background (his father is a retired DFO biological technician)…so I’m protecting the environment,” said Sewid, who is the president of Pacific Balance Marine Management. “The science is in. They predicted 20 per cent of the biomass they were allowed to catch; 111,000 tonnes so far has been recorded that have come to the Gulf of Georgia. So in fact, they took far less than 20 per cent of the biomass in the Gulf of Georgia. It’s a sustainable fishery. We should be proud of the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans.”

Since the investigation is ongoing, DFO says it does not have specific details to share at this time.

ALSO: Judge rejects North Island First Nation’s herring fishery injunction request

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 14 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

Reuben Forsland in his East Sooke studio with the guitar he crafted from hemp wood that he hopes will start a conversation about sustainability. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
East Sooke artisan strikes a chord with custom guitars

Guitars include wood from Hendrix childhood home in Seattle

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

Leon the squirrel gets a fancy snack of almonds and sunflower seeds from a well-meaning local, who really should be leaving Leon to his own foraging devices. (Submitted)
Squirrels don’t need your nuts, thanks

Consider birding instead of wildlife feeding, SPCA suggests

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation is hosting a virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads University on April 25. (Black Press Media file)
Cedar trees weave deeply into lives of coastal First Nations communities

Jessica Sault of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation hosts virtual cedar weaving workshop through Royal Roads

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

There are lots of resources for seniors looking for information about COVID-19. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
COVID questions? Here are some phone-based resources available for seniors

Here is a list of numbers to keep on hand for Vancouver Islanders who aren’t fond of computers

Most Read