VANCOUVER, Jan. 28, 2015 /CNW/ - First Nations have applied for interim injunctions to close the upcoming herring roe commercial fisheries on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii.
The Herring Industry Advisory Board (HIAB) is a committee of fishermen, processors, First Nations and fishing industry associations elected to represent the commercial fishing industry in the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DF)) management planning process. In planning for the 2015 herring roe fisheries, HIAB held a series of meetings to develop recommendations to DFO. The process is consensus-based and includes the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union. The appropriate spokesperson for the industry perspective is Greg Thomas, HIAB's chair.
HIAB strongly supports the Minister's decision to re-open these fisheries, based on robust scientific information. The science supporting the decision is comprehensive with an extensive database used in annual stock assessments. This information indicates that herring stocks on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii have increased to a level of abundance that will support fisheries. The modest harvests proposed fall well within conservative harvest guidelines established by science and reflect the industry's acknowledgement of First Nations' concerns. There is little chance that harvests at the proposed levels will have a detrimental impact on herring stocks.
A modest, conservative harvest is also economically sound, diversifying reliance on Gulf of Georgia herring stocks, spreading out the harvest, and demonstrating a stable resource to our Japanese customers. The market prospects for BC roe are also encouraging with reduced supply from our US competitors, no carryover of BC roe from 2014, solid retail demand in Japan, and the development of new products and new markets.
As you cover this story in the next few weeks, HIAB would be pleased to offer the industry perspective on legal, conservation and economic issues.
SOURCE Herring Industry Advisory Board (HIAB)
For further information: Greg Thomas, HIAB Chair, t.250.741.6759; e. firstname.lastname@example.org