Sport Fishing Institute responds to halibut allocation

Editor:
Mr. Haukness’s assertion that the halibut biomass is currently low is quite true.

Editor:

Re: Allocation is about conservation, March 14 Prince Rupert Northern View

Mr. Haukness’s assertion that the halibut biomass is currently low is quite true.

No recreational angler would ever argue that they want to put their desire to fish ahead of the conservation and responsible management of the fisheries resource that as Canadians, we all own. Unfortunately, his demand that each user group should “do its part to conserve stocks” would be more meaningful if he first acknowledged that 436 commercial quota holders “owned’ 85 per cent of Canada’s halibut TAC while 100,000 recreational anglers share 15 per cent. Any reasonable person looking at the allocation models would conclude that recreational anglers are being asked to bear a far higher proportion of the burden.

Similarly, Haukness can’t resist playing games with numbers when he mentions the recent reallocation decision. While DFO’s decision to increase the recreational share from 12-15 per cent is a 25 per cent lift, it is most certainly NOT a 25 per cent reduction in the commercial allocation.

Recreational anglers are not looking to wreak havoc on the commercial sector or even to obtain an equal share of the catch. They are simply looking to government to establish a fairer system which allows Canadians to catch one or two of the fish that they own, over the course of a reasonable fishing season.

Owen Bird,

Executive Director

Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.