NDP Fights for Fisheries in BC




OTTAWA – Fisheries and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly is calling on Stephen Harper and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Keith Ashfield to honour their promise to local fishermen on Vancouver Island.


Last spring, the Prime Minister campaigned on Vancouver Island, promising that quotas for the recreational and commercial fisheries in 2012 would be announced by the end of 2011. That has not yet happened.


“Traditionally, the recreational halibut season has opened on February 1st. Today is February 1st, and the fishing industry is still waiting,” said Donnelly. “The recreational fishery is an important boost the economy. Many jobs and small businesses rely on this fishery along the BC coast, but the Conservatives’ inaction has caused a great deal of uncertainty for the industry.”


Donnelly wrote to fisheries Minister Ashfield requesting the department immediately provide information on both the opening of the recreational halibut season as well as any changes to the halibut quota. Donnelly’s letter follows up on a letter from MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca) last month which also urged the Minister to take action.


“To keep commercial fishermen, tourism operators and sportsfishers hanging like this is unacceptable,” said Donnelly. “The Minister needs to stop playing games and announce an opening as promised.”

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans website states that the recreational Halibut fishery is “closed until further notice.”