Chum salmon swim beneath the surface of Salmon Creek on Aug. 3, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Advocates sound alarm on worst B.C. commercial fishing season in 50 years

First Nation and union leaders says government needs to come up with solutions

First Nation and union leaders say there is a desperate need for relief for commercial salmon fishers on B.C.’s coast.

Advocates say the federal and provincial governments need to step in to help fishers through the worst commercial fishing season seen in 50 years as runs have plummeted for all species and in all regions.

Joy Thorkelson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union, says at least 2,500 people have been affected by the downturn.

Bob Chamberlain, a former vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says the government needs to come up with diverse solutions since global warming is an added stressor for salmon.

John Helin, former gillnetter and current mayor of Lax Kw’alaams, says the lack in salmon has put pressure on other species of fish and there’s been a decline in their numbers.

A statement from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the government understands and empathizes with the economic impacts of the declining salmon returns.

‘An extreme crisis for our sacred salmon’: B.C. rockslide threatens First Nations’ food security

Department spokeswoman Jocelyn Lubczuk says it doesn’t have the mandate to provide financial relief for workers but it has reached out to the Department of Employment and Social Development to discuss the situation.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich councillor takes residents along for virtual e-bike ride through the CRD

Coun. Colin Plant is taking route requests for future cycling videos

Innovative free fitness program targets Victoria Royals fans

Program shows impressive results during follow-ups with the men who participate

Personal, business bankruptcies down in British Columbia

New 2019 figures were released before COVID-19 pandemic

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read