Industry advised before 2-day B.C. fishery led to snagged nets: manager

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday

A busy two-day fishery in the waters off Nanaimo, B.C., has prompted a warning from Fisheries and Oceans Canada about the placement of nets that led to two ferries being snagged.

Andrew Thomson, regional director of fisheries management, responded Thursday after BC Ferries said two fishing nets had been caught by their ships and a vessel was also forced to stop when it almost made contact with a third net.

Thomson said Thursday the opening of the season that began Wednesday at 7 a.m. drew about 130 gillnet vessels, compared with 30 or 40 vessels that would typically show up.

He said that any further problems could prompt an early closure of the 13-hour-a-day fishery.

READ MORE: Nanaimo-bound ferry becomes tangled with fishing net

The opening is one of the few opportunities to fish for chum in the Strait of Georgia, Thomson said, adding the department has been advising the industry to steer clear of ferry lanes.

“I would say the compliance, as I understand it, is quite high but there is a large number of vessels and unfortunately some of the vessels are getting in the path (of ferries),” he said.

“If we cannot maintain a safe and orderly fishery we will take steps to close the fishery.”

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Queen of Alberni was travelling between the mainland and Duke Point, south of Nanaimo, when it caught a net near Entrance Island, she said.

Marshall said about 75 boats were taking part in a fisheries opening in the area and although the captain slowed the ferry to ensure safe passage, one net was poorly marked and became fouled in the ship’s propeller.

No one was hurt and the propeller was not damaged but Marshall said the small boat that set the net was towed backward by the ferry until the line between the boat and the net snapped.

The captain freed the remains of the net by reversing the ferry and the ship continued on about 20 minutes behind schedule, Marshall said, adding the lanes past Entrance Island are clearly marked.

“We appreciate that (fishing crews) have a job to do, they are trying to make a living, but do stay clear of the ferry,” she said.

Marshall said the Queen of Alberni also had a close call with another net and the ship had to be stopped.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Crowd gathers at Phoenix memorial for Remembrance Day

The small group shared remembrances around the campfire.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Most Read