Natasha Girard fishing with her Dad and Sister on Friday in Sooke landed three chinook salmon. (Ron Neitsch photo)

Public’s voice muted on future of fishing

If we want to have chinook salmon and killer whales around for future generations, it will require leadership and tough decisions from the federal government. No one is denying that.

But how the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has gone about placing restrictions on those ocean species, and hint more are likely to come is a head scratcher.

Earlier this year, the DFO shut down salmon and recreational fishing for the summer in key feeding grounds for killer whales.

The closures, which took effect last month, apply to parts of the southern Gulf Islands, portions of Juan de Fuca Strait, and areas around the mouth of the Fraser River.

Now, the DFO has announced it wants feedback on another plan that could potentially close a large swath of ocean from Port Renfrew to Tofino.

In both cases, the DFO has said all the right spin words like public consultation, feedback, assessment and dialogue. It even set up special websites.

Unfortunately, they aren’t listening.

In this summer’s closure, recreation anglers offered good suggestions that could both save the whales and the salmon. Instead DFO, expanded the no-fishing zone at the dismay of every recreation angler and business on the South Coast.

This time around, the DFO gave a mere two weeks for public input and kept pretty quiet about it.

There’s no doubt saving the chinook salmon and creating a safe ocean habitat for whales is crucial. (Last summer, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order closing all chinook salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska marine waters).

The point here is why isn’t the DFO listening to those who are using the resource? The people who are most affected by their decisions aren’t – or perceived – being listened to.

By not taking all the information, including science and legitimate public feedback, the mandate to protect wild salmon and killer whales, takes on a second role, and smacks of politics and cronyism.

Just Posted

Thieves can’t steal Nanaimo’s tubbing spirit

Thieves pilfer motors, but good friends and hard work get tubbers back on course

BC Games ready to begin on Vancouver Island

More than 2,000 athletes will compete in 18 sports from Friday to Sunday in Cowichan

B.C. Supreme Court issues fire safety order for Discontent City

Discontent City has one week to comply with fire order

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face Cowichan challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and even ate blueberry pie on Day 3

EDITORIAL: Truth has to lead politicians online

The public deserves accountability and professionalism from its politicians

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

Duncan residents escape Chemainus rollover with minor injuries

Three Duncan residents escaped with only minor injuries following a rollover on… Continue reading

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Scam arrives on Saanich senior’s doorstep

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Most Read