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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd July 2013
MP Nathan Cullen
Following revelations that Alaskan fishers are still fishing Skeena-bound sockeye salmon, even though the Department of Fisheries and Oceans had closed the fishery, Nathan Cullen wrote to the Pacific Salmon Commission Chair Susan Farlinger, as well as Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, demanding action.

“The Skeena sockeye run is at a fifty-year record low, and Fisheries and Oceans has closed the fishery for British Columbians, but Alaskan fishers are still at liberty to fish under the Canada-US Pacific Salmon Treaty,” said Cullen from Skidegate.

In letters to Farlinger and Shea sent Friday, Cullen emphasized the need for conservation efforts to match each other at the border. “International state boundaries are meaningless to fish,” Cullen said. “It is simply unfair that Canadian fishers should have to shoulder all of the responsibility to act as conservationists, while American fishers keep their nets in the water.”

Cullen emphasized the need for the Pacific Salmon Commission to even the playing field for Canadian and Alaskan fishers, as well as the need for the federal government to step up to the plate. “The Minister knows that this will have a devastating impact on the fishery up here, and she certainly knows that compensation starts to become a reality when the government doesn’t manage the fisheries responsibly, as it did on the east coast.

“The Skeena sockeye salmon fishery is too important to us, economically and culturally, to let it be devastated in this way. The Minister needs to get up here and get to work before it’s too late.”
Hi barb
Comment by Amy on 29th July 2013
Just to clarify... I am mostly picturing the larger time commercial/industrial fishing that rakes in millions of fish per year before they come into the rivers... and wastes many more millions... being thrown back or not being purchased before they expire to eat.

And even for smaller scale commercial fishing, or recreational fisherman wasting their catches, in either case, it makes sense that if you are not taking only what you need and leaving the rest, it will eventually upset the balance. That is why the human population is out of balance... ever since we decided to grow a surplus of food, lock it up, and have people on guard and working for it... the balance has been upset.

I say, if a fish comes to you.... eat it, take a few home for your family, or more for a larger family. Knowing they will be eaten and not wasted, and stop fishing when you have a full belly and some in the freezer.

It's the only way to balance.

Telling people they cant catch a trout, sockeye, or steelhead and eat it is ridiculous with all the industrial/commercial going on. Those cultural rules ignore any reason and goes against human nature.... to hunt, to fish, to respect nature, the eat and enjoy it.

Lack of Salmon returning to the Skeens
Comment by barb on 26th July 2013
I object to the comments made by Amy. there are lots of reasons for the decline of the SALMON. and let me tell u it's not all the commercial fishermen. Commercial Fishermen fish only a few days of the year. My hubby who is a commercial fisherman might get 10 days a year to fish, 15 if were lucky. And if were talking about all the other species, Look at the COMMERCIAL recreational sidhermen, who are not monitored. They can catch all the fish they want , and throw them back dead or alive if the size is not to their liking. But we have other factors. Alaskan fishmen, who sometimes fish 7 days a week on the Salmon heading for the Skeena, Fraser River, and some of these so called mom and pop who fish and fish and sell the fish for there benefit. Fishing is the only industry, that ppl can buy a license, and go and catch as much as they want, and u can't tell me that they but every fish they catch on a a little piece of paper, that is given to them when they buy a license. There is no monitoring on these rivers. So before u blame the commercial salmon fishermen for the lack of Salmon, Amy, take a look at all the recreation, mom and pop, and other groups who abuse a RIGHT, believing this supply is endless.
and also
Comment by Amy on 23rd July 2013
The more salmon taken commercially before they get to the rivers here, the less eggs spawn here, the less food for other salmon and trout.... means less Trout and Salmon... it is very simple. It is not Grampa and son that overfished the trout and sockeye in our rivers here.

We are not allowed to go catch and eat even one trout from our rivers now, yet commercial fisherman can waste millions of non targeted species and sell 'the good ones' to china.

I realize that people believe in commercial fishing "It's Jobs!". But if you or your significant other can go and catch a few fish for your family for dinner, that is a job well done and much more meaningful than working for money at something you don't like (like commercial fishing) and buying the fish at a store.