Proposed fishing restrictions causing concern for Port Renfrew residents


Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is in the final stage of a proposing an expansion to the protected foraging zones for southern resident orcas by closing more areas to Chinook salmon fishers.

The possibility of this decision being made in the following weeks has some residents warning that this might be the wrong tactic.

Christopher Tucker is a resident, avid fisher and president of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce and he feels like the consultation process with the DFO was lackluster.

“It’s got to a point now with the proposed closures in Port Renfrew where DFO has pushed their luck a bit too far. [The consultation was] a presentation of what they believed, a chance for us to speak, which is nice and fair, but there is no listening on the other side,” said Tucker.

Tucker feels that recreational fishers have been unfairly targeted and that there are other environmental problems and predators that are reducing the Chinook population.

SEE ALSO: B.C. trawlers dump thousands of salmon, depleting orcas’ food source: wildlife group

For First Nations who rely on the salmon population, there are deep concerns. Chief Jerry Jack from the Mowachaht First Nation says the salmon population needs better management.

“Salmon are very important because that’s what we live on all winter. The salmon and the killer whales are very important to all our people up and down the West Coast,” said Jack.

The chief says he supports conservation efforts but says banning fishing goes too far and says there is a better way.

Jack says a huge hit on the Chinook population can be attributed to climate change with a newer predator in our waters.

“I think they [DFO] should focus on California sea lions before they start worrying about the whales, because those California sea lions are migrating north because of the warmer water temperatures,” he said.

CHEK News reached out to both the Pacheedaht First Nation and DFO for comment but CHEK did not hear back before deadline.

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