Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Citing Ottawa’s mismanagement of wild Pacific salmon, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are establishing their own crisis management team to act in an advisory role to the Gitxsan Government. Members will be invited from all sectors, including First Nations, commercial, recreational and both municipal and band councils.

The announcement Dec. 6 comes as the Hereditary Chiefs have also proclaimed an immediate closure in their territory of the Skeena recreational fisheries, in advance of the 2019 angling season.

READ MORE: Recreational catch and release creates lowest impact, highest value: report

In a press release the chiefs say DFO routinely ignores fishing plan recommendations to close the fisheries in the interest of conservation by the Skeena First Nations Technical Committee and Gitxsan Watershed Authority. They say there was no legitimate data to support DFO’s opening of the 2018 recreational fisheries.

“This drastic action is necessary to ensure fish for future generations and to stop DFO actions that cause over fishing, “says Catherine Blackstock (Geel). “It is purely mismanagement for economic purposes.”

The chiefs issued a similar announcement in the 2018 season. Hereditary Chief Cliff Sampare (Simogyat O’yee) said the Gitxsan feel the declaration of a closed fishery is supported by the Supreme Court of Canada’s Delgamuukw Case, a ruling in part against the province to grant the Gitxsan aboriginal title on the land based on evidence of oral histories.

Because the Gitxsan are still in treaty negotiations, Sampare said the federal government however excludes the Gitxsan from meaningful involvement in natural resource decisions.

READ MORE: Salmon closures a devastating blow to businesses

DFO spokesperson at the time said the department does not recognize Gitxsan fishing closures.

“[It] is not a DFO closure and will not be enforced by DFO fishery officers. However, anyone thinking of fishing in the area should be aware of the potential for conflict.”

Sampare stressed their position is a non-violent action. Fishers will be treated as trespassers and asked to leave.

On the recent closure announcement, Sampare asks the governments of Canada and B.C. to join their crisis management team. “We understand that this industry is worth at least $50 million [annually]. We will work together. Until then all must stay away.”


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

B.C. man faces deportation over father’s honour-killing conviction

Father lied to immigration, was later acquitted of charges in Jassi Sidhu’s murder

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

B.C. Maxim Cover Girl semi-finalist victorious despite second-place finish

Brandi Hansen says her main goal was to spread an empowering message to others

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Most Read