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

IN PHOTOS: 2020 Wilgress Lake Fishing Derby

Fishermen dotted Wilgress Lake for the Boundary Métis Association’s annual event

Grand Forks marches against gender violence

The Grand Forks march was part of 1 Billion Rising, a global movement against gender violence

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Tonnes of food diverted to food bank from Grand Forks grocery store

In December alone, the Boundary Community Food Bank took in more than 4,000 kgs of perishable food

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Burglar swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Most Read