On June 29, 2021, DFO announced long-term closures under the pacific salmon strategy initiative for over seventy salmon fisheries.
There is no financial aid package for this summer, in spite of the last-minute nature of the closures.
DFO announced a buyback to begin in 2022 — but won’t start working out the details until this fall.
The UFAWU-Unifor, united with 15 other salmon organizations, has already sent a letter to the Minister requesting:
- Immediate emergency funding to assist displaced fish harvesters, processors and ancillary workers.
- The advice and criteria these closures were based on.
- A clear outline and understanding of DFO’s vision for Pacific Salmon fisheries.
- Funding commitments to invest in habitat restoration and salmon rehabilitation and enhancement, over and above the $647 million promised through PSSI.
- Meaningful engagement and consultation with commercial fishing organizations and a response to the Future of BC Commercial Salmon Fishing Report submitted to DFO by salmon harvest organizations in March of 2021.
Now, UFAWU-Unifor needs to hear from those affected by these closures.
- We’re pushing hard for emergency support for salmon harvesters that have been abruptly cut off from their livelihoods. We know there are investments and operating costs that cannot be recovered. We’re making that point loud and clear to DFO, the Province, and MPs who are also able to pressure the Federal Government to take responsibility. What would an adequate emergency support package look like?
- Harvesting is not to blame for the decline of salmon stocks, and these closures won’t fix the problem. Habitat restoration, pinniped reduction, fish farm removals, climate-change prevention, and stopping clear cuts near salmon spawning grounds are all critically important to the revitalization of salmon. What do fishermen and our organizations need to do to inform the public and gain public support to dramatically increase funding for habitat and salmon restoration?
- Hatchery stocks can support commercial fisheries and allow time for the rebuilding of habitat and health of wild salmon stocks. Part of the FISHERMEN’S PLAN for the FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHING calls for investment in enhancement for commercial fish, new spawning and rearing channels, and releases of hatchery reared salmon in strategic places where they can be harvested with little or no impact on wild salmon. How do we gain support from marine-based First Nations and coastal communities for the plans for enhancement and other strategies laid out in the FISHERMEN’S PLAN for the FUTURE?
The first meeting will be held on July 27, 2021. It will be held on Zoom and is open to salmon harvesters.
Access the meeting on Zoom using the Meeting ID: 941 9276 7224 or by Toll-free Phone at 855-703-8985. For helping attending, or more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.