With record low projections for 2018 sockeye and chinook returns in the Northwest, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is calling for unity.
Cullen says the possibility of a total shutdown for the two salmon species in the Skeena, Nass, and three adjacent marine areas means it’s absolutely imperative that all sectors work together to plan for peace and put the health of fish stocks first.
Cullen, who’s spent much of the last two weeks talking with user groups about DFO’s draft harvest plan for North Coast salmon, says options include zero sport retention of Skeena chinook or sockeye, and localized First Nations recreational fishing exclusion zones to avoid conflict between First Nations fishers and recreational anglers.
He says he’d like to see DFO release 2018-19 harvest numbers sooner than last year, when he says late notice by DFO of recreational sockeye closures on the Skeena left angling guides scrambling to save their season.
Cullen says he’s frustrated that he’s still waiting for a phone call from the fisheries minister’s office promised three days ago.