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October 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Sockeye Season in Question

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

Prince George, B.C. – When it comes to the sockeye  returns  for  this summer, “The numbers don’t look good” says Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

There has been talk  the  sockeye fishery  this summer  may be closed   and that  could be devastating to  communities  along  the  Skeena  River system.  “Typically  in the past when we’ve had to see closures go down,  we have looked for compensation for the commercial fleet and  how to get  people into the region to look for different types of fish” says Cullen .

Thousands of people head to the  region  every summer to  catch  sockeye,  and  their  impact   has a positive effect  on the economies of  communities like Smithers, Terrace and Prince Rupert.

He says   there are  ways to enhance the fishery  in “innovative ways ”  but the Federal  Government has  made more cuts to fisheries, to hatcheries and  programs  that have  had positive results. “It’s very very frustrating for me to see these (sockeye)  low (return) numbers.”

Cullen says the  fishery is under pressure  from a number of  issues, including  climate change and  foreign trawlers. “Our government seems to be ambivalent about those questions and doesn’t seem to  have any deeper or lasting concern about the wild salmon fishery on the West Coast.”

He says  the Federal  New Democrats are putting a package together  that addresses not just compensation,  “But a way to stabilize the fishery in a more meaningful way.”   That package says Cullen,  would include  protection of salmon spawning grounds,  making sure the international fleet is not wiping out our fish  as they (the fish)  move through  American and International waters, and  suggestions on  stock enhancement “We have seen through American and other practices, globally, there are safe  environmental ways that enhance stocks  that keep the genetic diversity and allow  more fish into the system.”


Compensation? Oh you mean EI benefits.

He (Cullen) says the Federal New Democrats are putting a package together that addresses not just compensation, “But a way to stabilize the fishery in a more meaningful way.” That package says Cullen, would include protection of salmon spawning grounds, making sure the international fleet is not wiping out our fish as they (the fish) move through American and International waters,,,”

I have a suggestion: As a Canadian who is more concerned with new solutions about dwindling salmon returns than politics I would consider it my duty to share with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans any solutions that are worthwhile. For instance, what would Cullen and the NDP do to stop international fishing fleets in American and International waters from “wiping out our fish”? Gun boats, diplomacy or what? I’m am sure that the government is fully aware about the existing problems and what the allowable options are! So don’t hold back any new practical ideas!

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