Public Forum in Steveston

The Cohen Commission visited Steveston on Monday. After a tour of the Cannery, the commission proceeded to Steveston-London Secondary School for a public forum. The Richmond News reports that nearly 65 people attended, but only 5 people addressed the commission. Criticism was laid against the management of the fishery and the federal government’s support of aquaculture.

Eric Wickham, fisherman and author of Dead Fish and Fat Cats, cited the announcement last month by federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea of $637,678 in funding for six aquaculture projects in B.C., including a $200,000 grant to Sablefish Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Marine Harvest, which Wickham added is owned by one of the richest men in Norway. …

He concluded by telling Cohen that the problem with the B.C. fishery is the way it’s managed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“I don’t know how you can change it,” he said. “I suggest you just shut it down and start over.”

Others echoed that sentiment. Gary Williamson, a commercial fisherman, said he never fished unless DFO called an opening.

“So if we’ve over-exploited the resource at some point, it’s has to be DFO’s fault,” he said. … [read full article]

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