Greater Victoria anglers are taking their boats to the water in Sooke tomorrow to protest what they call an unfair fishing ban.
In late spring the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced a ban on harvesting any fin fish from Otter Point to East Point, near Port Renfrew, a stretch of approximately 50 kilometres extended from the shoreline to U.S. waters.
The ban went into effect June 1 and lasts until Sept. 30.
The DFO decision made in an attempt to preserve the southern resident killer whale, which is on the endangered species list.
A DFO representative said the choices were made to preserve the chinook salmon population, which makes up much of the whales’ diet, and to decrease noise disturbances in the area.
“It feels like being stabbed in the back,” said Bruce Webber, a retired commercial fisherman and protest organizer.
Webber said his Facebook posts about the upcoming protest have been shared more than 700 times and he hopes to see more than 100 boats on the water this Sunday between Otter Point and East Point. Protesters will use hook-less lines to get their message to the federal government.
He added a peaceful protest is also planned in and around the Sooke roundabout, between 8 a.m. and noon.
“It’s a peaceful demonstration just to let Ottawa know we’re families and people and not just numbers,” Webber said.
– with files from Nicole Crescenzi