ALLIANCE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT A NEW VISION FOR POST-TREATY
British Columbia’s most representative
seafood organization is cautiously optimistic about the broad recommendations
of Professors Peter Pearse and Don McRae in the Joint Provincial
Task Group on a Vision for Post-Treaty Fisheries released May 5.
“We have long called for a new approach based on sustainable,
profitable fisheries, one that provides equal security of access
for all participants and consistent, integrated management that
does not create unfair advantages for some businesses over others,”
said Christina Burridge, executive director of the BC Seafood Alliance.
“The Treaties and Transition report, for example, calls for
all commercial fishing post treaty, to abide by the same rules of
fishing, to have equal and long term security of access, and to
make a strong commitment to integrated co-management that will benefit
all participants, both First Nations and non-First Nations.”
In its 2001 Vision for a Modern Seafood Industry in BC, the Seafood
Alliance identified the need for increased security of access as
fundamental to both stewardship of the resource and to the economic
health of the industry. BC’s capture fishery creates about
9,000 full time jobs and contributes about $870 million to the provincial
economy with more than half the job benefits in rural coastal communities.
That contribution depends on a sustainable resource and a responsive,
progressive regulatory and policy environment. “Without those,
we will not see the kind of long term investment that we need to
meet domestic and international demand for high quality, safe, sustainable
seafood products from BC,” Burridge said.
The task group was mandated to define a broad vision of the post-treaty
fishery including how it will be shared between treaty and non-treaty
participants, to achieve secure access for all participants, to
harmonize management and fishing regimes, and to improve enforcement
and meaningful consultation with stakeholders. “The report
makes a lot of detailed specific recommendations that will need
extensive discussion within the various segments of the industry.
However, it goes a long way to identifying important principles
such as seeking a formal Government commitment to compensating commercial
fishermen to offset reallocations resulting from treaties. Our members
look forward to entering into discussion with both levels of government,
with First Nations and other industry participants on how to make
it work.” Burridge said.
The Joint Task Group report is available online at http://www.prov.gov.bc.ca/tno/
Click on the following links for information and Seafood Alliance
member organizations position papers related to issues in the Task
Submission to the Task Group
Gulf Trollers Association
– Quota Discussion Paper
Pacific Trollers Association - Some
Thoughts on Troll Individual Transferable Quotas