Tag «DFO»

Tell Minister Jordan about Chinook Retention

That message from Chris Bos of the SVIAC to Minister Jordan regarding chinook retention can use reinforcement from all of us. Minister Jordan has yet to announce her decision. There two ways in which you may support this effort:

  1. The best way is to write a short letter to Minister Jordan directly. Here are the contact details for Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan:
    • By email: min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
    • By telephone: 1 (613) 992-3474
  2. The Public Fishery Alliance has put together an excellent form letter where everything is already laid out for you. You just add your name, email address and postal code then press send and you’re done. This only takes about 30 seconds. Here is the link to the PFA form letter.

Expressing your desire to fish for chinook as proposed isn’t about harming any of the struggling Fraser River Chinook stocks. The fisheries contained in the SFAB proposal sent to DFO are designed specifically to avoid those stocks of concern.

SVIAC to Minister: Selective fisheries, please!

SVIAC President Chris Bos has sent a plea to DFO Minister Bernadette Jordan imploring her to announce selective chinook fishery opportunities for the places and times identified by the collaborative effort of DFO and the SFAB.

Please clearly understand we, as anglers, support conservation and have been seeking a meaningful recovery plan from your department regarding Fraser River Chinook stocks of concern for over fifteen years. However, the SFAB proposal on your desk has been specifically fashioned so there are absolutely minimal encounters of these challenged stocks. The objective is for anglers to harvest abundant stocks and USA origin hatchery Chinook, while stocks of concern are allowed to recover.

letter from SVIAC President Chris Bos to Minister Bernadette Jordan

DFO, SARA and Transient Killer Whales

DFO has cast its net wide to solicit feedback for the ongoing Species at Risk Act (SARA) recovery planning for the Transient Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada. Specifically, they seek new information related to two recovery documents for this population: a draft amended Recovery Strategy and a draft Action Plan.

With respect to the amended Recovery Strategy, DFO welcomes any new information with regard to Section 8.0 (Critical Habitat) of this draft document.

The good news is that the population of transient killer whales is slowly growing. The bad news is they remain threatened primarily by man-made pollutants, and their marine habitat exposes them to acoustic and phsyical disturbances from shipping and boating.

This Recovery Strategy identifies critical habitat for the Transient Killer Whale as all Canadian
Pacific marine waters bounded by a distance of three nautical miles (5.56 km) from the nearest

Under SARA, critical habitat must be legally protected within 180 days of being identified in a final recovery strategy or action plan and included in the Species at Risk Public Registry. For the Transient Killer Whale, it is anticipated that this will be accomplished through a SARA Critical Habitat Order made under subsections 58(4) and (5), which will invoke the prohibition in subsection 58(1) against the destruction of any part of the identified critical habitat.

amended Recovery Strategy

New prohibitions on activities within transient killer whale habitat may be appropriate. Enforcement of same by an agency that already seems overwhelmed managing our west coast fisheries may be challenging.

DFO seeks to evaluate their efforts on salmon

Although most industries try to conduct a “lessons learned” exercise at the conclusion of each project, DFO is seeking to do similar for the work they’ve done regarding salmon from 2015 to 2020. The ongoing nature of most of DFO’s programs, policies and initiatives makes a specific end point difficult to identify; thus a “point in time” evaluation.

The Evaluation Division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is currently conducting an evaluation aimed at exploring all aspects of DFO’s activities in support of Pacific salmon over the period from April 2015 to March 2020.

email from Evaluation Division of DFO

Their stated goal is to improve decision making, innovation and accountability within DFO, toward improving the effectiveness and efficiency of programs, policies and initiatives. The survey should take you about 30 minutes to complete, and the ACS encourages you to do so. It’s supposed to close at March 31, 2021, but appears to still be open.


A Knowledge Gap in DFO Science

While DFO cultivates the image of making science based decisions for management and protection of salmon stocks with regard to their Wild Salmon Policy, the reality is their lack of funding has eroded the knowledge base to support these decisions.

The Narwhal has published an insightful article that looks at the decline in the numbers and use of creekwalkers by the DFO.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been hiring creekwalkers to count salmon returning to natal streams along the Pacific coast since 1940. These creekwalkers provide essential information about populations, which is used to inform fisheries management decisions, including how many salmon can be caught for commercial or recreational purposes.

In 1949, there were 150 creekwalkers monitoring the north coast; by the late 1970s there were 40 and now there are just two, according to research by the organization. Pacific Wild has also found that only 215 of 2,500 spawning streams on the central and north coast are being counted. That’s about a 70 per cent decrease since the 1980s, when around 1,500 of those streams were monitored

excerpt from The Narwhal article

Is there a solution? Of course there is. But it would require funding – turns out even creekwalkers need to eat – and a course change to base fisheries decisions on empirical data and not political expedients.

Open Letter from PFA to the Minister of Fisheries

This open letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan went out Feb. 16th in a wide distribution to media across Canada. It has been written by the Public Fishery Alliance. Please read it and also open the link which contains background information.

The SFAB Chinook proposal, which this letter supports, is a lengthy read. However the four maps on the single page provide a graphic illustration of what has happened to Georgia and Juan de Fuca Straits in terms of the opportunity to retain Chinook between April and September since 2018.

The PFA strongly recommends your department allow anglers to keep Chinook as described. Failure to do so reinforces the common view that science-based fisheries management and your mandate letter from Prime Minister Trudeau are not guiding your actions. Canadians deserve to know how your department operates and where it stands with respect to their interests, especially as a general election seems close at hand.

excerpt from PFA letter to Minister of Fisheries

2020 Southern BC Post Season Review

On Dec 16, 2020, there was a review by DFO of 2020 with respect to all things Pacific salmon related. The presentations used at this review are provided here. Recordings of the presentations are to be available soon; we’ll link them in if possble when that happens.

Salmon Allocaton Policy review: Terms of Reference

As directed in April 2018 by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, following the B.C. Supreme Court Ahousaht decision, DFO is soon to undertake a review of the Pacific Salmon Allocation Policy. To guide this process, a draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the participants has been developed.

Every fisherperson in BC – recreational, First Nation, and/or commercial – should have an interest in getting these ToR correct.

To that end, SFAC members are invited by the SFAB to read and review the ToR, as well as the SFAB’s own notes and comments on the ToR; and then provide, in writing, any additional comments, concerns and most importantly suggestions for improvement you may have to your local chair. All before Dec 31st, 2020!

Local SFAC Meeting: Nov 3, 7 pm

The local SFAC meeting is planned for Nov. 3 at 7 pm. This link will allow you to join the MS Teams virtual meeting at that time. This document may help you join the meeting successfully.

The local SFAC chair was provided much information in advance of this meeting by South Coast SFAC chairs Mike Kelly and Erika Watkins. Some of this information is shared here.

This document is DFO’s “Regional recreational Updates – Fall 2020”. This document provides a lot of information and updates on a variety of species management issues and policy initiatives that DFO currently has underway in a regional context. It is intended as an information document. Note that the first 6 items in the document highlight issues that will be included in SFAB consultation during the upocoming cycle.

This document is the “SFAB Regional Priorities and Requests for Consideration 2020\2021”. This is a list of priority issues that the SFAB species specific working group chairs and the SFAB executive have identified as regional priorities for the upcoming consultation cycle. Please note that these regional priorities may not capture priorities at your local committee level, and it is anticipated  that both motions and action items that offer advice to address both regional and local issues may flow from your local meetings.

The SFAB motions tracking spreadsheet may help you understand the status of SFAB motions that have already been submitted to DFO as advice. This may help you understand how advice provided  by either your committee or the Regional and Main Board has been considered by DFO and what the outcome of that consideration has been. It also will assist in identifying outstanding items that require clarification.

Pat Ahern of the SFI has provided a slide deck to explain the status of the SFAB modernization process.

Under normal circumstances, in 2020/2021, elections would be held to either reconfirm the mandate of existing local, regional and Main Board chairs; or to replace them through a fair, transparent, anonymous and democratic process. Elections are being deferred until such time as they may occur in face to face meetings.

DFO: no to MM and MSF, yes to wild salmon policy

Near the end of June this year, the Sport Fishery Advisory Board sent a letter to DFO urging that agency to move forward with mass marking (MM) of hatchery chinook to enable mark selective fisheries (MSF) along our BC coast.

DFO’s response is lengthy and includes a full range of issues and topics to discuss, but basically comes down to: no to mass marking – it’s too hard and we can’t afford it, and those hatchery fish may out-compete the wild fish; no to marked selective fishery for areas such as south Vancouver Island – there may be an at risk chinook group that suffers some mortality.

The ACS has concerns regarding DFO’s approach to salmon conservation and its impact on the recreational fishers of BC. The consultations that DFO schedules with recreational groups – generally represented by SFAB – appear to carry little weight with regard to the fishery management measures put in place.