Premier wades into fishery closure debate

John Horgan questions the federal government’s approach

Premier John Horgan is wading into the debate on the possible expansion of restricted fishing zones on south and west Vancouver Island.

Earlier this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced a recreation fishing closure until Oct. 1 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Otter Point to East Point, near Port Renfrew, and some areas around the Gulf Islands.

This month DFO also sought public feedback on further fishing closures in two additional areas: the waters on the continental shelf off the southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse Banks, and the waters of the west Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit.

RELATED: Proposed fishing restrictions will be devastating: officials

DFO says the fishing restrictions are aimed at protecting critical habitat areas for killer whales and to save dwindling chinook salmon stocks.

But Horgan, who is also the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, in a letter to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says that while he supports efforts to recover the killer whale populations, he questions the federal government’s approach.

“The process through which [DFO] Pacific Region staff engaged with stakeholders over the recently enacted southern resident killer whale-related closure in the Strait of Juan de Fuca left many stakeholders questioning the value of engaging in such a process,” Horgan wrote.

RELATED: Fishing ban a ‘devastating blow’ for Sooke

He said the new round of public feedback gives little time for those associated with the industry to respond in a timely fashion, with many Indigenous, recreational and commercial stakeholders engaged in peak-season operations.

“It appears the Pacific Region is more focused on short-term fixes rather than on presenting a cohesive plan that will accomplish these goals over the long term,” Horgan said.

Horgan isn’t the only local politician who is questioning DFO’s request for feedback on further fishing closures, with Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is also writing to LeBlanc.

“The thought of a potential fishing ban has many of my constituents very concerned with the future of their livelihoods,” wrote MacGregor.

“Any proposed closures to salmon fisheries in the Strait of Juan de Fuca must be balanced with an understanding of the role of fishing communities in moving conservation and enhancement efforts forward in order to be effective.”

Following the feedback from the public on recovery strategy for the west coast of the Island, DFO plans to draw up a proposal, and again consult the public. This is expected to happen in late summer.

To give your feedback to the DFO on their recovery strategy, please go online to www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Raccoons making themselves at home on Saanich property

Resident blames neighbour for attracting pests to area

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Saanich welcomes feedback on development charges

Info sessions set for July 25 on update to Saanich DCC bylaw

Gold medals for Victoria rowers at BC Games

Both girls row out of the Victora City Rowing Club at Elk Lake

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Plans for Saanich’s Nigel Valley to step out of shadow

Plans for a major housing development in Saanich’s urban core are becoming… Continue reading

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

Most Read