Vancouver Island Coast

Herring Management in the Strait of Georgia

Vice President of SIPS Michael Simmons has drafted a letter to Minister Nathan Cullen in regard to the continuing lack of action from the province on the Herring situation. Please find that letter below.

Your response is requested by Minister Adam Olsen who will forward them to Minister Nathan Cullen. Feel free to use Michael's letter as a guide but please add your own concerns. Letters can be emailed to Adam Olsen.

Honourable Nathan Cullen
Minister Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

Re: DFO Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for Herring 2023-2024

Dear Minister Cullen

In November last year our society, Saanich Inlet Protection Society (SIPS), submitted a brief to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Hon. Diane Lebouthillier with copies to you and MLA Adam Olsen, amongst others. The brief responded to the Draft Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for Herring 2023-24 prepared by DFO.

Our brief reported eleven findings that exposed significant flaws and omissions in the plan and made three recommendations for corrective action. When the plan was released by DFO there was NO response in the plan to any of our findings nor to any of our recommendations. In fact the content of the plan is almost identical to the plan for the previous year.

DFO requests public input but we now conclude that is just for show.

To be clear, in our brief we report that, "Herring populations in Saanich Inlet and many other areas of the southern Strait of Georgia have been virtually extirpated". We therefore requested, "A Pacific Herring Recovery Plan for the southern Strait of Georgia, south of Dodds Narrows" and to facilitate that possible recovery we requested a pause of the fishery in the one remaining significant spawning area on the entire BC coast, that is from Nanaimo to Comox including Hornby and Denman Islands.

SIPS asks the Province of BC to support these (and our other recommendations) and request a reasoned response from DFO.
 
Thank you,

Michael Simmons

Vice President, Saanich Inlet Protection Society

CC Elizabeth May, MP
Adam Olson, MLA
Jim Shortreed, President Herring Conservation and Restoration Society
Dr John Driscoll, David Suzuki Foundation
Sydney Dixon, Pacific Wild Alliance

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