Over 40 sport-fishing boats sailed off Victoria’s Harbour on Monday.
Those aboard the boats were angry over fishing restrictions.
Sport-fishing operators say they are suffering from new federal restrictions brought in to protect endangered Chinook salmon stocks.
They say the restrictions are stopping them from catching hatchery fish as well which could have a possible result of up to 9,000 jobs lost.
“Right now we have an opportunity to achieve a balance between conservation objectives and preserving communities and that’s what were asking them to do,” Martin Paish, director of business development with the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.
Anna Hall, a marine zoologist in Victoria, says it’s definitely a struggle trying to find a good balance between conservation and people’s jobs but the restrictions are not just about saving salmon. They are needed to save the chinook eating southern resident killer whales.
“The hope of these restrictions is that it provides more fish available for the southern residents,” said Hall
Darren Wright, co-owner of Island Outfitters, was out on the waters this morning and says he understands there does need to be a balance and is frustrated that he’s not seeing one because he supports the environment just as much as his own business.
“We need to protect our environment and sports fisherman are all about enhancement and all about environment, all about our fish,” said Wright.
Protesters say they hope Monday’s message does reach government and help to change the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s current regulations before their businesses sink for good.