It would seem that we need a new tourism manager as Mr Wishart does not have his facts straight once again!His comments in the Talking Tourism post are totally inaccurate.All the halibut quota was caught by the commercial sector before the advent of lodges and charter boats.They TOOK a part of this catch with no compensation to the quota holders!It did not cost the commercial sports fishermen a cent.There is no validation of sports caught halibut other than a few creel surveys and some voluntary log books.I have been a regular sportie all my life(a very long time)and have never been asked how many halibut I have caught!Every quota holder fishing has every fish counted more than once,it includes skate,rockfish,blackcod etc and every fish is weighed and counted when it is landed.The fees for quota holders to fish are huge!No such fees apply to the commercial sporties.Also there is NO mention of the 300,000 pounds that the sports sector was over last year!So 1,200,000 pounds were caught…halibut commercially caught was up to $7…00 per pound,that is $8.4million dollars worth to the fishermen…lost.A 100 lb halibut is worth $700.00.Now add in,as the commercial sports do,processing,trucking,marketing and you can triple the $7 figure…$25 million…so a 100 pounder is now worth $2100. quite a sum…more than the charter cost…the quota is half of what it was 10 years ago,we are all in this together so make the most of what we have!
I have been trying to get my head around this allocation issue. I can understand the commercial guys getting upset over losing quota because the coast wide numbers are down, but I don’t really see the blame falling on the ‘commercial sporties’. From what I can understand, everyone is losing in this one with both sides taking reductions.
You make some really good points about the value of the product, and both the commercial and recreation anglers say they provide good dollar return for their catch. One difference I see is that the commercial guys sell their fish in order to make their money, while the commercial sporties sell fishing opportunities, not the catch.
One thing that is clear is that halibut, as a resource, belongs to all Canadians.
The commercial fleet allows people to buy halibut in locations that it is not normally available, while the lodges and charter guys allow people to go catch that resource where they normally would not be able to. If the resource is owned by all Canadians, shouldn’t we all be able to access this whether we decide to buy it at the store or rent a boat and catch it?
I know the big lodges cater to international fishermen, and these folks fish a resource that is owned by Canadians, and take it home with them without buying it.
While we argue between ourselves about the commercial/ sportie halibut issue in BC, the product is being caught by people that do not own it, and is flown south of the border. How so Canadian of us…