Cullen calling for West Coast Fishery Recovery Plan
July 15th, 2009 - 1:00pm
OTTAWA – In a letter to Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Nathan Cullen demands that the Minister immediately focus both energy and funding into creating a Recovery Plan for West Coast Fisheries.
In his letter, Cullen points to the number of funding announcements that are supposedly going to stimulate the economies of Coastal BC; none of which target the ongoing and increasing pressure on the commercial fishing fleets of BC.
Recent “stimulus” funding announcements from DFO include major repairs to a Canadian Coast Guard vessel in North Vancouver and testing ways to reduce the impact of open-net cage salmon farms near Campbell River.
Both projects represent a weak effort to address symptoms, rather than address the real problems. Neither of these announcements creates any opportunities for the commercial fishing fleets, nor the shore based businesses and communities that depend upon them.
“For a government that claims to want to stimulate the economy, they sure are doing their very best to kill the West Coast commercial fisheries and the many jobs associated”, says Cullen, “I don’t think they could have been more destructive if they actually planned the demise of this industry.”
Cullen reminds the Fisheries Minister of her unfulfilled promise to visit the North Coast and that assistance for the commercial fishing industries of West Coast BC must happen immediately – the end of the summer would be too late.