by David Ellis
May 24, 2019
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent St
Ottawa ON K1A 0E6
Dear Honourable Minister
I want to report to you that I was told a few days ago that Chinook by-catch levels are presently high in the mid water mixed rockfish fishery for "greenies" off the west coast of Vancouver island, by a trawler who visited my public book sale in Port Hardy.
Numerous past science studies note that Chinook are consistently taken across all of the trawl fisheries, and in American trawl fisheries to the north and south, the authorities maintain websites on the by-catch of Chinook, which have triggered closures of the entire trawl industry.
Why are websites noting trawl by-catch not kept in BC?
I also wish to inquire about the corruption charges for observers
The situation is clearly very bad and may I suggest closure of the BC trawl fisheries and development of more practical and economically and ecologically more viable ways to take these fish.
The Trudeau government should stop regulatory support of trawl investment.
You should know that the trawl fishery, especially by the huge new vessels you are allowing into BC, is not supported here by most. Trawl technology is geared to the fillet trade that only sees 20% utilization of each fish. This is unacceptable.
First Nations Libraries Ltd
Here is what transpired:
I was able to talk to 2 crew members on two different super trawlers fishing the 800 line off the Cape.
I have been asked to not mention there names and out of respect so please don't ask.
They said 2 super trawlers are up on charges from DFO for bribing observers.
Does anybody know anything about this?
These observers are paid under $28.000 a year and they are humans not cameras!!!
I always wondered how are they getting away with not having cameras on these vessels because our small hook and line guys have to have cameras on board because they can't afford paying an observer.
They also mentioned conservatively the by-catch rate is about 30 to 40% halibut by-catch every tow!!! Hello no kidding they are on the Halibut grounds.
One crew member laughed and said they are saying they are all alive but the truth is about 20% is alive and nothing ever sees the bottom again. Because there is up to 1,000 sea lions follow behind every super trawler and again laughed and said the buggers don't eat turbot heads they love the halibut and tear all the bellies out of them.
He said the sea lions are so thick that they get stuck in the ships propeller and stall the main engine and they have to reverse the ship to get them out and the water turns red.
The two crew members both agreed that a rough estimate, if you wanted to add up the turbot that was taken off the cape this year and add just 10% halibut by-catch you would end up with these kind of numbers:
5 to 7 million pounds has been dumped off the Cape this winter and not one has seen the bottom again.They said one skipper phoned the owners and said what do we do here we are getting 40,000 lbs a tow of halibut and the owners said try and stay away from the halibut and bring the boat to town full.Also no crew members are permitted to have any cell phones on deck because of the camera. One crew member said one guy brought out a cell phone on haul back and took a few pics and his phone was thrown over the side when he was on deck.
He brought the boat to Port Hardy and tied it up and told the owners "I can't sleep at night I am outta here."
We better wake up and get these foreign owned super trawlers off our coast or we're wiped out. After they take the bottom gear off then the mid water gear is put on and they lay out front of our coastal communities and freeze all the fish and take it to the shipping ports and the communities don't get a lick!
These super trawlers are buying up all our small trawlers quota like candy and these are the life blood of the communities why is there no caps on these boats!!!!!!!!
When the trawl fishery went to IVQ why were the communities not involved in this process? Because back in the day the communities helped these guys get the IVQ with the history of all their landings and now they are being ripped away.
Seriously guys what Canadian fisherman can afford a 10 to 15 million dollar boat!!!!
Our Canadian super trawler owners are called the "Mr 10%" because the rest are owned by foreign owners that have created shell companies to hide behind. This is why money is no problem to buy out the whole BC quota on hake and ground fish when there is no caps on these boats.
We all need to make a stand on this coast and protect our small boat fleet which is very low impact compared to these super trawlers.
The coastal communities need 50% shore base allocation for protection and if the quota isn't taken good let's build up the coastal communities to take more fish.
DFO has made it a race for the fish just like the East Coast and has let foreigners in to own our resource.
I am in contact with mayors on the east coast and their advice is we get these super trawlers out before it's too late because we are heading down the same road. All of their small drag fleet went down hard because of these guys!!!
I am getting statements
I will keep you all posted on my return to Rupert
Together we can have security for our resources and ensure growth and prosperity for our coastal communities. Everyone wins.