Herring Industry Advisory HIAB (HIAB) - An open letter to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs regarding Roe Herring Fisheries in 2015

VANCOUVER, April 1, 2015 /CNW/ - This letter responds to the UBCIC letter of March 25, 2015, which opposes 2015 commercial roe herring fisheries.

British Columbia herring stocks are intensively managed, with strong peer-reviewed science and a conservative harvest policy. Recent assessment information indicates that herring stocks in areas identified by First Nations have rebounded to fishable levels of abundance. In planning 2015 fisheries, the Department of Fisheries has adopted a precautionary management approach, limiting harvests in these areas to one-half the level normally approved. Scientific analysis has determined that these modest harvests have very little chance of reducing herring abundances to the low levels asserted by First Nations.

Roe herring fisheries have been sustainably managed in British Columbia for over 40 years despite dramatic fluctuations in herring abundances. BC's commercial fishing families support measures taken to restrict harvest in areas of low abundance and readily comply with conservation-based closures. But when the same peer reviewed science processes say the stocks have increased to fishable levels, they want to go fishing to support their families and provide jobs and income for their crew.

The roe fishery is important to the wild seafood sector, with a market value of $30 million in 2013. The fishery employs a large number of fishermen and shoreworkers, and maintains plant operations during a relatively slow time of the year, contributing to jobs and family incomes coastwide as well as BC's export performance.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Thomas
Chair, HIAB
c.  250-741-6759;  e.  greg.thomas@shaw.ca

SOURCE BC Seafood Alliance

For further information: Greg Thomas, Chair, HIAB, c. 250-741-6759; e. greg.thomas@shaw.ca

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