DFO opens dialogue with MP

DFO opens dialogue with MP

Nathan Cullen concerned over public tensions as fisheries plan hashed out

Following a communication jam with DFO managers earlier this month, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said March 28 the channels have opened up with a useful dialogue emerging.

In a recent telephone briefing with managers regarding the 2018-19 draft salmon-harvest plans, Cullen said in a release he is pressing for more aggressive management strategies to rebuild depleted North Coast salmon stocks, impose sharp restrictions on large commercial fishing lodges and, as previously stated, the earliest possible release of the 2018 harvest numbers.

Currently DFO estimates a sockeye return to the Skeena watershed of 650,000. The threshold for a recreational fishery is 800,000. The Skeena First Nations Technical Committee has recommended the trigger for food and ceremonial catches be temporarily increased to 600,000 from 400,000 in the interest of attaining the minimum escapement goal.

Two weeks ago Cullen accused Fisheries and Oceans Canada of refusing North Coast managers to speak with him on the harvest plan, for what’s expected to be record-low returns for chinook and sockeye in the Skeena watershed. The press secretary of Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc told Black Press the ministry was in direct contact with the MP’s office, but Cullen maintains he and his staff had spent several days negotiating with political advisors for a briefing.

Nathan Cullen

“It is absolutely imperative that elected officials have access to local senior managers about fishery management thoughts and plans, as elected representatives are often the first people anxious user groups turn to when tough decisions are on the table,” Cullen said.

DFO North Coast director Colin Masson returned from holiday March 23 and said last week he is committed to a face-to-face meeting with Cullen and his staff to discuss the process further.

Masson added the harvest plan is midway through the consultation process with First Nations, commercial and recreation groups, and is expected to be finalized early May.

Cullen meanwhile reiterated his call for ground-level cooperation between user groups to avoid conflicts over the limited stocks. He added that the proposed, complete closure on the two species are heating up tensions in “ways not seen previously” among constituents concerned for either food, cultural, or economic security.

“Salmon are essential to the people of the Northwest,” Cullen said. “We must respect and protect this precious resource and now, more than ever, be guided by conservation as our watchword.”


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read