Aug 18/98: Canada expected to close native fishery


Vancouver Sun
August 18, 1998
Camille Bains

[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news article may contain biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context. It is provided for reference only.]

The department of fisheries and oceans will close a native-only commercial fishery under the Port Mann bridge near Westminster Quay today, says a fisheries coordinator with the Musqueam band.

George Guerin said the decision was made late Monday after two conference calls with the department of fisheries manager of Fraser River fisheries Frances Dixon and representatives of the Musqueam, Burrard and Tsawwassen bands, which were to have had access to the fishery today between 1 and 4 p.m. "It's partially for conservation reasons," said Guerin. "We have a total allowable catch and there's enough for us but when you put 200 commercial gillnetters in the water and their catchability is much greater than ours, there's not enough fish for everybody," he said.

Dixon would not say late Monday night whether the fishery would be opened or closed, but that she would make an announcement after 10 a.m. today.

Phil Eidsvik of the B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition, which had planned to protest if the fishery had been opened, said a closed fishery means a victory for non-native commercial fishermen. "That's great news," he said when told it appears the DFO is ready to cancel the fishery. "We're pleased that we played a part in convincing them and I hope this is a sign that the DFO has come to its senses. We'll get back to fishing together [with the natives] as friends like we used to do. We've got a hundred-year history together."

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