VANCOUVER, Oct. 25, 2017 /CNW/ - "Disappointed pretty much sums it up," said BC Seafood Alliance Executive Director Christina Burridge of the impending announcement of the expanded fishery closures in the Offshore Pacific Area of Interest for marine protection. "Maps circulated in June showed several sea mount closures and we agreed with closing them. At the end of last month, just as the offshore advisory process got underway, we were told that the remaining two seamounts would be closed. No discussion with industry or through the advisory process before we lost access."
Burridge noted that the Alliance and its members had strongly supported the Minister's designation of the Hecate Strait sponge reefs last year and are fully committed to meeting the Marine Conservation Targets to protect 5% of Canada's waters by the end of this year and 10% by 2020. "Indeed we expect that about 37% of the Pacific Coast according to international definitions will be protected once the Offshore Area is designated."
She noted that the government set a high bar for openness and transparency and collaboration. "This decision did not meet that bar. The same decision could have been reached through the advisory process with the full consent and support of fishery stakeholders who depend on the resource. Good processes make for win-win situations. This wasn't one."
The BC Seafood Alliance is an umbrella organization representing about 90% of the value of seafood harvested on Canada's Pacific Coast
SOURCE BC Seafood Alliance
For further information: Christina Burridge, 604.377.9213, [email protected]