PRINCE RUPERT, Oct 29, 2021 — The Cowichan Bay Fishermen’s Wharf Association has announced it will not charge moorage fees to harvesters financially impacted by a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) decision to abruptly close many of British Columbia’s salmon fisheries.
“This choice has been made following the arbitrary and devastating decision made by the minister of fisheries and DFO to completely shut down certain salmon fleets,” CBFWA President Kim Olsen wrote in a letter to the harbour authority presidents and board of directors.
On June 29, 2021, DFO announced the closures of 79 salmon fisheries as part of phase two of the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI). This decision has left many salmon harvesters financially devastated as they struggle to survive without the ability to fish.
“The harvesters impacted by these closures have been offered no financial compensation or the ability to fish to receive EI during winter. As these fleets made zero dollars this last season, this offer can eliminate at least one bill hanging over their heads this coming winter and spring,” Olsen wrote.
“The board of directors of CBFWA have decided to allow free moorage for the area C, E gillnet, and Area H troll fleet for this winter.”
This decision will be in place until at least May 1, 2022, depending on the needs of harvesters.
Olsen says he hopes other harbour authorities follow suit.
“I urge all harbour authorities to do the same for the devastated salmon boats we have at our facilities,” says Olsen.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a spokesperson, please contact UFAWU-Unifor Communications Organizer Liam Hill-Allan at email@example.com.