The MCC has submitted its feedback to DFO on the mark selective Chinook fisheries proposed to start in the spring of 2023.
Mark Selective Fisheries target “marked” hatchery Chinook that are missing their adipose fin. Many of these fisheries would increase the sport fishery effort at a time when endangered Fraser stream-type Chinook are migrating to the Fraser River, and in places that are foraging grounds for endangered Southern Resident killer whales that are targeting the same fish.
These fisheries would mean increased mortality accrued on “released” wild fish, as well as increased competition, noise and disturbance on Southern Resident killer whales foraging for limited prey.
Furthermore, these fisheries were announced without transparent, verifiable monitoring and assessment plans that are critical to the assessment of impacts to wild Chinook salmon and killer whales. The implementation of these fisheries in such a short time frame is in direct contradiction to messaging from regional DFO staff in the last few months which indicated a phased-in, small-scale, terminal approach to mark selective fishery (MSF) implementation.
The MCC, as well as Vancouver Island First Nations, have spoken out in opposition to these proposed fisheries.