Taylor Bachrach speaks at the Honouring our Elders event held Oct. 11 at SSS in Smithers. Bachrach is currently calling for a halt on issuing sports fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach feels that the Province should be restricting sport fishing licenses to people who live within the Province for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In his letter to Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan, Bachrach said that despite calls from provincial health officer Bonnie Henry against non-essential travel within the Province by British Columbians that the region’s coastal communities have seen a significant number of out-of-province sports fishermen showing up even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These non-essential recreational trips risk introducing coronavirus into communities with extremely limited health care capacity,” said Bachrach.

READ MORE: Recreational fishing for sockeye salmon in the Skeena River closing

Bachrach and co-signee Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns are asking Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan to officially restrict sport fishing license to in-province fisherman for the duration of the pandemic.

Furthermore, they are asking the ministry to use its resources and communications channels to discourage non-essential sports fishing trips for all Canadians.

Despite the above, Bachrach notes sports fishing remains a vital part of the region’s economy.

“We understand the restrictions we are requesting have implications for local businesses,” the letter reads. “We are committed to working alongside the sports fishing industry to enhance the sector’s viability and sustainability once this public health emergency is behind us.”



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com
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