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NEWS RELEASE · 14th February 2011
MP Nathan Cullen - Smithers
Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen assured charter and lodge operators today that he understands their halibut allocation concerns and is not advocating additional sectoral licensing for the fishery.

“Media reports earlier this week may have implied that I am suggesting new licensing for sport fishers,” said Cullen “I am simply saying that a lasting resolution to halibut allocation requires recognition of all the stakeholders involved.”

“Maintaining a sustainable halibut fishery must take into account the traditional commercial fishery as well as a diverse recreational fishery.”

“The sport fishery has made some real strides in terms of monitoring and stewardship but many in the community agree there is still some room to improve. The bigger players clearly have the most ability to lead on this.”

Cullen said he is glad to see the total allowable catch for the coming season has risen compared to last year but noted that there are still legitimate concerns about the season from both sectors. A resolution, he said, requires Fisheries Minister Gail Shea to come to the table.

“The Minister and BC Conservative MPs have been totally absent in the midst of a significant public debate about the policy. We need Minister Shea to live up to her duties, sit down with all stakeholders and work towards a real, practical solution.

“In managing this or any other fishery, we must always use sound science as our foundation and preservation as our goal,” Cullen said. “DFO is stuck in neutral, afraid to move. We need to get this show on the road and start working out the answers that will allow everyone to get on with their lives around this fishery.”
Nathan Cullen doesn’t address the problem
Comment by Ron Bartlett on 15th February 2011
Good Afternoon,
Nathan Cullen doesn’t address the problem with giving the Sport Commercial sector more of the allocation than the 12% they receive.

The Sport Commercial industry catches 70% of the Recreational allocation now and there is no budget for Enforcement and monitoring.

The TAC has gone down from 14,000,000 in 2004 to 7,650.00 this year. This is because the Sport Commercial Industry continues to overfish and is not practicing conservation. They should not be given more, but should be made to manage their fishery within their allocation just as the 1st Nations and Commercial industry.

We are being squeezed just like they have done with Salmon in giving the Sport Commercial Fleet the Troll Fishery as well as the Area licensing imposed on us.
We have been investing in the Halibut Fishery as have the other Coastal First Nations and see this as another attempt to take away our livelihood.

Our rights and Treaty are not being accommodated with this issue, as consultation is not happening and our right to derive a lively hood as well as our Food is being taken away again.

Ron Bartlett