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

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

West Kootenay rod and gun clubs slammed for animal-killing contests

Wildlife activists are targeting the club and two other B.C. organizations

Interior Health hospitals to serve more made in B.C. food

New initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture to serve more B.C. produced food in hospitals

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read