Rod Clapton, President of the B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers has sent us his well thought out consideration of catch and release fisheries as an alternative to DFO’s current practice of complete public fisheries closures to protect wild salmon stock.
The tremendous social and economic loss of Public fisheries demands that consideration of all options for retaining some opportunity must be a priority. We cannot accept total closures when other viable alternatives such as C&R are available. The documented closures of fishery dependent businesses is a sad reality. The Public Fishery generates 1.1 billion dollars a year in revenues & provides 9,000 jobs province wide. The social value is priceless, highlighted this year by the recognition of the safe healthy benefit of fishing in these current Covid-19 restrictions.
The Public Fishery remains committed to Conservation as the #1 priority. We will continue to support all science based efforts to rebuild stocks but demand that total closures be a last resort after all other options such as “Catch & Release” are carefully considered.Rod Clapton, president BCFDF