Salmon plan nei­ther fair nor bal­anced

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial -

This plan elim­i­nates a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of re­ten­tion an­glers from our rivers as they will not buy a li­cense. The pres­ence of these an­glers is crit­i­cal on our rivers as they are true stew­ards of the re­source and de­ter poach­ing. This is not a con­ser­va­tion plan, this is a pri­va­ti­za­tion plan.

Since the clo­sure of our rivers to Re­ten­tion An­gling by DFO last sum­mer, the Cit­i­zens Out­door Rights Al­liance (CORA) has ad­vo­cated for fair and bal­anced salmon man­age­ment plans.

To do so, if there has to be pain due to cuts, it has to be shared equally by re­ten­tion and hook-and-re­lease an­glers.

The re­cently re­leased plan by DFO is not fair and bal­anced for the fol­low­ing rea­sons:

For re­ten­tion an­glers, re­ten­tion has gone from six fish to one, with the pos­si­bil­ity of another af­ter an in-sea­son re­view. Yet there is a to­ken de­crease of four fish to three for catch-an­drelease an­glers.

For the hook-and-cook an­gler this means an an­gling sea­son of 20 min­utes, yet hookand-re­lease an­glers can fish for ap­prox­i­mately 100 days and legally re­lease three per day, which equals 300 fish.

So the re­ten­tion an­gler po­ten­tially kills one (di­rect mor­tal­ity), whereas the hookand-re­lease an­gler kills 30 at a 10 per cent kill rate (in­di­rect mor­tal­ity) - not to men­tion a fall catch-and-re­lease fish­ery.

Once again there is no plan to reg­u­late hook and re­lease. DFO of­fers ex­cel­lent sci­en­tific ad­vice on proper catch-and-re­lease tech­niques, such as keep the salmon in the wa­ter at all times, cease catch-and-re­lease fish­ing in very warm wa­ter con­di­tions. Yet they refuse to upgrade this ad­vice to reg­u­la­tion which then could be mon­i­tored and en­forced.

This plan elim­i­nates a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of re­ten­tion an­glers from our rivers as they will not buy a li­cense.

The pres­ence of these an­glers is crit­i­cal on our rivers as they are true stew­ards of the re­source and de­ter poach­ing.

This is not a con­ser­va­tion plan, this is a pri­va­ti­za­tion plan.

This is about the almighty dollar, oth­er­wise a more sig­nif­i­cant cut in catch and re­lease would have been made and reg­u­la­tions im­posed on hook and re­lease.

There is still no plan to ad­dress what is go­ing on in our oceans. Caplin stocks, one of the main sources of food for salmon, are sig­nif­i­cantly de­clin­ing. Sein­ers are still scoop­ing up salmon as by­catch in other fish­eries, and the list goes on.

DFO and Min­is­ter Do­minic LeBlanc have iden­ti­fied the re­ten­tion an­gler as the prob­lem. So sig­nif­i­cantly cut re­ten­tion or elim­i­nate al­to­gether - prob­lem solved.

Sadly this will not be the case. So, for the Cit­i­zens Rights Al­liance the fight con­tin­ues for a fair and bal­anced plan. Pub­lic meet­ing are planned over the next few days.

Gary Gale

Pres­i­dent,

Cit­i­zens Out­door Rights al­liance

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