NEWS RELEASE · 13th August 2013
DFO Favours Recreational Fishery and Ignores Constitutionally Enshrined Rights of First Nations
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs stands in support of Lake Babine Nation’s request to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for a closure on recreational fishing for sockeye salmon in specific areas of Babine Lake.
Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs stated, “First Nations have constitutionally-protected rights to harvest fish, yet here we see DFO continuing to allow priority to recreational fishing over our Aboriginal right for food, social and ceremonial use.
This is simply inexcusable.” Chief Chamberlin continued, “DFO does not have the best interests of the health and sustainability of wild salmon as a priority within their policies. This is clear as they continue to ignore the Cohen Commission recommendations and delay the implementation of the Wild Salmon policy which intends to conserve and protect these vital and important stocks for the benefit of all.”
“The Harper Government and DFO must stop the continued Babine Lake sport fishery as well as stop of the continued Fraser River sport fishery,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, “Salmon is integral to our cultures and livelihood and for DFO to continue to open these stocks to the recreational and sport fishers particularly when the sockeye runs are in mid-collapse is reprehensible.
What about DFO’s mandate and obligation to protect the salmon? Where is the action to ensure that priority is provided to First Nations for these salmon as per our constitutionally protected rights? The decisions taken by DFO are illogical and we will continue to stand with Lake Babine Nation and other First Nations to protect what is sacred-wild salmon.”
Stop all sockeye fisheries for 2013
Comment by Larry on 14th August 2013
I have to agree with the Chief......if first nations can't fish..then NOBODY SHOULD BE ALLOW TO CATCH SOCKEYE this year. Let's think of the fish first and all others last.