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

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

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

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

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read