Fishing adovates say DFO using one-sided approach to increasing salmon stocks

Fishing-dependent towns across south western Vancouver Island are poised to fight when it comes to possible increased fishing closures.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has already enacted a closure to help increase salmon stocks -- particularly Chinook salmon on which the endangered southern resident orca is  dependent.

But Capital Regional District director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, Mike Hicks, a former member of the sport fishing industry himself -- says the federal government has been using a one-pronged approach for too long:

" The bottom line for everything is we have to have more salmon. It's simple as that. And this goes right back to 1984, or thereabouts, with Peter Pearse, Dr. Peter Pearse, when he wrote the Pearse report.  As he said, he came to the conclusion after a couple million dollars that there was too many fisherman chasing too few fish.  And his solution was let's get rid of the fishermen. And that's been the way of the management ever since, and some of us said let's make more fish."

Hicks says there has to be a balance between controlling harvest, and investing in habitat protection, restoration and salmon enhancement.  And he says predators must be addressed -- including seals and sea lions and fish farms.

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