Industry advised before 2-day B.C. fishery led to snagged nets: manager

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday

A busy two-day fishery in the waters off Nanaimo, B.C., has prompted a warning from Fisheries and Oceans Canada about the placement of nets that led to two ferries being snagged.

Andrew Thomson, regional director of fisheries management, responded Thursday after BC Ferries said two fishing nets had been caught by their ships and a vessel was also forced to stop when it almost made contact with a third net.

Thomson said Thursday the opening of the season that began Wednesday at 7 a.m. drew about 130 gillnet vessels, compared with 30 or 40 vessels that would typically show up.

He said that any further problems could prompt an early closure of the 13-hour-a-day fishery.

READ MORE: Nanaimo-bound ferry becomes tangled with fishing net

The opening is one of the few opportunities to fish for chum in the Strait of Georgia, Thomson said, adding the department has been advising the industry to steer clear of ferry lanes.

“I would say the compliance, as I understand it, is quite high but there is a large number of vessels and unfortunately some of the vessels are getting in the path (of ferries),” he said.

“If we cannot maintain a safe and orderly fishery we will take steps to close the fishery.”

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Queen of Alberni was travelling between the mainland and Duke Point, south of Nanaimo, when it caught a net near Entrance Island, she said.

Marshall said about 75 boats were taking part in a fisheries opening in the area and although the captain slowed the ferry to ensure safe passage, one net was poorly marked and became fouled in the ship’s propeller.

No one was hurt and the propeller was not damaged but Marshall said the small boat that set the net was towed backward by the ferry until the line between the boat and the net snapped.

The captain freed the remains of the net by reversing the ferry and the ship continued on about 20 minutes behind schedule, Marshall said, adding the lanes past Entrance Island are clearly marked.

“We appreciate that (fishing crews) have a job to do, they are trying to make a living, but do stay clear of the ferry,” she said.

Marshall said the Queen of Alberni also had a close call with another net and the ship had to be stopped.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heat taken down by Thunderbirds

The women’s volleyball team fell to the Thunderbirds Saturday night

MacEwan uses strong second quarter to topple Heat

MacEwan Griffins seal fifth win of the season

Kootnekoff: Federal Employment law changes

Federal Bill C-86 received royal assent on Dec. 13, 2018. The Bill… Continue reading

Heat get hot start Saturday night

The Heat defeated the MacEwan Griffins

Day one of Hometown Hockey in West Kelowna

Special guests, music, games, and free pizza! Hometown Hockey countinues on Sunday.

Find me my furever home: Mittens and Boots

Meet Mittens and Boots who are available for adoption at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Announcement made Saturday evening from Europe

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

Most Read