On March 18, the MCC submitted the following letter to Minister Jordan describing the potential impacts of mark selective fisheries on endangered Chinook populations, and detailing concerns around DFO’s proposed catch, release, compliance, and stock composition monitoring and evaluation.
While there may be limited opportunities for MSF fisheries in BC recreational Chinook fisheries, most of the fisheries currently proposed by the Sports Fish Advisory Board (SFAB) do not support the conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered south coast Chinook populations and are inconsistent with the 5% total mortality objective for endangered Fraser Chinook.
In addition, the MCC believes that:
- Fisheries-independent monitoring of stock composition, catch/releases, and compliance has not been established at the necessary level to approve MSF, nor is it consistent with the National Bycatch Policy. Meaning many proposals may have unintended consequences and be without the necessary monitoring in place to evaluate them;
- Ecosystem interactions in current and expanded mixed-stock fisheries have not been evaluated as to their consistency with recovery objectives for endangered Southern Resident killer whales. This includes ecological interactions from fisheries competition, vessel disturbance in key foraging areas, and age-overfishing (also called growth-overfishing) in mixed stock fisheries;
- There are outstanding issues with respect to First Nations’ rights and title, in relation to priority access to salmon; and
- There remain significant concerns with the impacts of hatcheries on wild Pacific salmon. The establishment of mark-selective fisheries creates an incentive to continue and expand potentially harmful hatchery production.
Read the full letter: