Fish numbers top of mind during busy riding tour
April 20th, 2018 - 8:30am
PRINCE RUPERT – MP Nathan Cullen returned to Parliament this week after a busy round of riding visits during which the challenging 2018-19 salmon season was top of mind for many constituents.
“Not surprisingly, fish harvest numbers and management plans are huge issues for all communities,” Cullen said.
“Wild salmon are the heart of our Northwest economy, culture and lifestyle; we all have an interest in the health of salmon and how stocks are managed.”
Cullen said that conservation and fairness must be the focus of all fishing plans for 2018.
“Virtually all user groups I spoke with say they are willing to support whatever sustainability measures are necessary to protect salmon, including not fishing.
"People are suggesting a variety of strategies to manage low returns so the fishery can recover and thrive.”
Cullen noted the constitutionally protected right for First Nations to fish for food is a top priority after stock sustainability.
Other concerns raised by Cullen include local communities and businesses that rely on salmon being able to access rivers and marine areas. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) must also ensure foreign-owned fishing lodges are not exempt from harvest restrictions.
“In order for sustainability to work, we need all user groups to come together and contribute; for example, if the folks on the ocean are not contributing, our efforts on the river will be less successful,” Cullen said.
“I appreciate the meaningful conversations I had last week with First Nations, sport and commercial sectors and DFO.
"I will continue to encourage DFO to release a salmon harvest plan quickly."
Contact: Joshua McLeod, 250-622-2413, firstname.lastname@example.org