North-Okanagan Shuswap MP Mel Arnold tabled a petition on Dec. 4 in the House of Commons calling on the government to develop a comprehensive recovery strategy for threatened Fraser River Salmon Stocks.
The petition also calls on Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Bernadette Jordan to adjust chinook salmon management in the Fraser to allow anglers to access salmon from hatcheries or abundant stocks in areas or times when the threatened stocks are minimally or not present.
A statement from the MP’s staff notes that the federal government has increased restrictions on the public fishery in B.C. while rejecting proposals that would provide fishery access to healthy stocks.
“The Trudeau government’s promises of restoring our Pacific salmon stocks have failed while successive fisheries ministers have chosen to ignore viable and proven proposals for restoring and conserving populations that continue to decline,” Arnold said.
“The support this petition received from coast-to-coast-to-coast demonstrates that our Pacific public fishery and salmon stocks are of national significance and that it is time for the federal government to pivot from their failed strategies and adopt proven solutions in a comprehensive recovery strategy to benefit salmon and fisheries.”
The statement also notes public fishery in British Columbia is a major economic driver for coastal communities. It quotes from provincial studies which found the public fishery annually contributes $1.1 billion to the Canadian economy and provides 9,000 jobs in B.C.