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Sooke News Mirror - News TEXT


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Halibut fishery could collapse Get deals in Victoria


By Pirjo Raits - Sooke News Mirror
Published: January 12, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: January 13, 2011 9:34 AM

Devastation and the collapse of the halibut sports


fishing industry is imminent if federal measures are not
taken to accommodate recreational fishers, says Mike Business Search
Hicks, lodge operator, fishing guide and area director What (type a keyword or listing name)
for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

"Two things will happen in our area, the halibut sports Where (Address, City, Province or Postal Code)
industry will be devastated and the concept of a
common property resource will be demolished."

Every halibut that is pulled out of the water is


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in North America and decides on the total harvest of
the fish which range between Santa Barbara, California
and Nome, Alaska.

Canada has a quota system for halibut established in


1991. The reason was to stabilize the markets and
increase safety for commercial fishers. the recreational OTHERS A LSO REA D...

fishers quota was deducted from the total and the Sooke News Mirror
Sportfishing m e e ting se t for W e dne sday
remainder went to the commercial sector. But, what is Fishing co nce rns on front burne r
happening now is that the quota for recreational fishers C ritical fish forum com ing up
Avata r hope s high in Po rt Re nfre w cham be r
is being cut drastically, causing tremendous hardships
Vancouver Island South
for communities reliant on the recreational fishery. Stop roe he rring fishe ry for orcas
This includes charter operators as well as individual R uling de m ands DFO do m ore for o rcas
Man die s a fte r m yste rious fall
fishers.

"Individual fishers from all parts of Vancouver Island


and throughout B.C. will be denied their favourite pastime and their access to this common property resource," says
Mike Hicks, a charter operator and Area Director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

In 2003, the quotas changed, giving commercial fishers 88 per cent of the halibut resource. In 2010 other changes
decreased the Canadian quota resulting in a recreational limit of one/day and two possession, a shortened season
and a purchase of 118,953 pounds of commercial quota. Now in 2011, the IPHC are recommending a further
reduction of 19 per cent in the overall harvest rate.

This is the "worst case scenario" for recreational fishers, creating hardships on coastal communities and Canadian
recreational fishers.

Hicks, put forward a Notice of Motion at the Capital Regional District Board meeting on January 12, where he is
looking for support from other coastal communities to get the federal government to purchase or lease the required
commercial halibut quota to establish a permanent annual guaranteed base limit and season for recreational fishers
of one halibut per day, two in possession, between February 1 and December 31 of each year. As it stands now, the
halibut season will close in June or July.

"I'm asking towns to support me in this resolution to the Ministry of Fisheries," said Hicks. "I'm taking this to the
Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, every town to Prince Rupert should be behind this." He
also said he has no intent to harm the commercial fishing industry.

Hicks has done his homework and is worried because history shows that in Nova Scotia 100 per cent of the lobster
fishery is commercial and in Newfoundland there is only a three week season for cod fishing.

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1/13/2011 Sooke News Mirror - Halibut fishery cou…
"We could lose our right to go halibut fishing," he said. "I'm going on a different avenue and am engaging at the
lowest political level — communities. Maybe the mayors can help the MPs get going to fight for communities."
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The motion will come before the CRD Board at the February meeting.
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