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