LETTER – Herring fisherman offers industry’s side of the debate

Paid protestors want to stop a way of life they know nothing about

Dear editor,

As I finish my 30th year herring fishing, I can’t help but reflect on all the good times we’ve had with local boys from Pender.

Commercial fisherman have endured many challenging times because of support from within and our involvement in various fisheries. Take this fishery away and we are less viable in the future. I’m all for a closure if the science warrants it but not for political or emotional reasons.

It’s hard to believe public sentiment of this fishery has gone from sustainable and economically viable to a so-called environmental atrocity in just a few years. Herring fishing has brought millions of dollars of economic benefit to my home town. This year has brought substantial herring returns and lengthy spawn deposition, yet the environmental movement has us in their sights and protesting has become much more trendy and profitable than resource extraction.

Our fishery is in peril, not for scientific reasons or the status of herring stocks, but because of anti-fishing propaganda that use drones and expensive photography equipment to demonize our livelihood. Local media have yet to report any good press regarding the current stocks of herring in the Strait of Georgia but was right there on Sunday as a handful of protestors staged their opposition to the way we make a living. Television media declined when industry asked to counter the claims made by Pacific Wild.

RELATED: Hundreds gather on shorelines to protest herring fishery

Pacific Wild won’t stop as long as huge donations keep rolling in and urban dwellers want to stop a way of life they know nothing about. It becomes emotionally draining to endure paid protestors following you as you fish herring only to get that perfect shot that makes us look like ruthless killers of nature. Their simplified attack – the orcas are starving from lack of spring salmon in the strait because we’ve decimated the population – is simply false. A simplistic theory that appeals to the politically correct voters in cities. A hypocritical population that develops the banks of the Fraser to Hope and likes to point solely at commercial fisherman for the Fraser salmon crisis. The 75,000-ton biomass assessed this year is done by three boats from Ladysmith to the Comox ferry. Lack of research funding means all the other herring populations in the gulf are not quantified. Herring have spawned already in Pender and all throughout the east side of the gulf. This 75,000-ton biomass is grossly understated while environmental groups will have you believe the ocean is void of life. Go out on the water during herring season and look at a video sounder rather than Facebook and Instagram for unchecked facts.

The quota our own operation caught this year will bring a gross economic benefit to B.C. of close to a half-million dollars. This includes trucking, processing, freezing and shipping our kazunoko to foreign markets. This industry needs your support to overcome this environmental persecution.

If you rely on resource extraction for your livelihood, you could be Pacific Wild’s next victim.

Josh Young,

Pender Harbour, B.C.

Letter to the Editor

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

Just Posted

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

Victoria seeks court order to enforce sheltering rules in Beacon Hill Park

People being asked to move out of environmentally sensitive areas of park

Victoria tattoo shops respond to sex assault allegations against male artists

Carne Tattoo and Painted Lotus Studios respond to allegations

MISSING: Victoria police search for high-risk missing woman last seen June 24

Amanda Williams is a 34-year-old Indigenous woman with short black hair and brown eyes

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

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

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read