Commercial halibut fishers from Prince Rupert and across BC are starting their own letter campaign to counter another one by recreational halibut fishers who are trying to convince Ottawa to give them a bigger piece of the halibut quota.
I find it very unnerving, that they have such a large portion of the alllocation already!!! This sector does not have any monitoring or enforcement system in place, unlike the Commercial industry, you have to take an observer out to monitor.
As far as I’m concerned the fishing lodges and charter operators should be considered part of the commercial fishery. They are, after all, selling their services to catch fish for a profit.
So how do the sporties get away without cameras or observers?And as a real sportie,where do I sign up for my share of quota?The commercial fishermen have looked after the fishery for years through the IPHC.Everyone has taken a cut in catch over the last few years as the quota is about half of what it was,and those greedy s.o.b’s think they should be exempt?When the quota goes back up,they will have more fish to catch just like the rest of us.The commercial fleet has a hell of a lot more invested than the charter boats do.You can catch other fish on a charter,not just halibut.
There have been numerous discussions locally amongst other concerned sport fishermen, and I believe the local consensus would agree the charter industry has definitely become a ‘commercial’ fishery in every aspect, and as such should be subject to a much higher level of licensing, enforcement, and other controls.
Spend one afternoon at Rushbrook watching the boats come in, count people on board with fish on board and it’s pretty frequently seen that people are fishing over limit. Charter boats are small compared to the “sports” fishermen who come up with freezers on board the back of their trucks, towing their own boats. I was really happy last year to be pulled over a few times enroute to Terrace to be asked if i had fish with me and loved all the trucks and RV’s pulled over being checked. It is high time the sportsmen followed some stiffer regulations.