Common Sense Canadian

‘By any means necessary’: Heiltsuk vow to stop herring gillnet fishery

PostedMarch 26, 2015 by in BC

The Heiltsuk Nation is vowing to stop DFO’s opening of a gillnet fishery amid threatened herring stocks in Area 7 by “any means necessary”, after DFO refused to listen to leaders’ concerns in emergency talks yesterday afternoon.

The gillnet fishery comes in the wake of a highly controversial seine fishery in the same central coast region this past weekend. Said Chief Counsellor Marilyn Slett:

We are saddened that it has come to this, but we cannot stand by while DFO uses flawed science to destroy a resource we have depended on for thousands of years…If we don’t protect the herring, who will?

The Heiltsuk leadership made it clear to DFO that they would accept a gillnet fishery in nearby Area 8, but that Area 7 is a no-go, based on its importance to their traditional spawn on kelp food and ceremonial fishery and the depleted health of stocks there.

Community members are currently mobilizing and heading to the suspected site of the fishery, in anticipation of an opening today. DFO’s fishery report this morning advised, “Gill net harvesters are advised to move to the Central Coast area and are notified that a fishery is possible as early as today.”   


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.


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