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Rough start to the sockeye fishery

The sockeye salmon fishery got off to an early but rough start on North Coast.

North Coast fishermen voted to provide a total of 8,000 sockeye to the Wet’suwet’en over a two day fishery, but it appears to have been a costly decision.
Joy Thorkelson with the United Fisherman and Allied Workers Union says the waters were churning with sockeye Thursday but not so much by the time the early fishery got started Friday.

CFNR made contact with some of the 50 or so vessels that are out on the water and reports are dire so far. Some vessels are reporting they have caught only a single fish while others are saying they have caught nothing.

With 49 fish due from each boat, vessel owners are behind the eight ball; one of the things they had to take into account when they voted on the Nanika exchange agreement with the Wet’suwet’en which was part of the early start.

DFO had initially set the sockeye opening for Monday while the earlier opening hinged on the fishermen’s “yes” vote.

Thorkelson says the initial hope was that crews could recover some of their costs if the sockeye fishery was allowed to continue again Saturday, but that didn’t happen.

Boats got word Friday that the fishery would not open a second day, despite the deal between the fishermen and the Wet’suwet’en.

About Bill Fee

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