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In defense of fish tourism

Speaking in defense of fishing lodges in B.C. I must say that they are being unfairily targeted as a sector of the fishing industry that is somehow contributing to the the depletion of wild fish such as halibut.

The reason people go to these remote lodges to fish is because the other sectors of the fishing industry have so depleted the stocks in local waters that one’s chance of catching anything is practically zero. I have been to lodges on more than 10 occasions in the past 20 years because I love to catch fish. And I love to eat fish. I would go more often if I could but it is expensive and I am far from rich.

The lodges are all wonderful and they put conservation of wild fish high on their priority list. They report all fish that are landed at their sites and they make sure that all their guests obey the fishing rules as set out by the department of fisheries and oceans.

From my observations, far less than half of the sport fishermen at the lodges get anywhere near their limit of fish. Some guests do not take fish at all but practise only catch and release. I would say that one roe herring seiner does more damage to wild fish in one hour than all the fishing lodges put together do in a season.

No, don’t blame the lodges they are doing a good job in a tough environment. We should at least allow a quota that will let them continue to operate.

Mike Morry,

Central Saanich


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