Flickr photo by Scott Darbey Some bands do fish ethically, but others don’t, and accountability is needed, says Terrace writer.

First Nations need fishing accountability too

Some bands do fish ethically, but others don’t, and accountability is needed, says Terrace writer

Dear Sir:

As a fisherman of Ferry Island, I have witnessed two native bands food fishing.

On the northern side, the Kitsumkalum band adhere to the proper fishing protocols. They do not leave their nets unattended, never leave their nets overnight, and regularly pull their set.

On the opposite side, the Kitselas band leave their nets unattended, sometimes for days at a time, and never regularly pull their sets.

On one occasion, one set was left for three days, unattended. The net was eventually pulled, yielding 41 salmon, of which 21 were thrown back belly up.

I agree with the native food fishery, a system in which those in need receive fresh fish, if properly and ethically done. However, from one side of the old bridge to the other, ethics differ.

It’s time the Kitselas follow the example of the Kitsumkalum band in their fishing procedures. It is also time that the government ensure that best practices are being upheld. Native bands that do not food fish properly should be held accountable.

I, as well, would like to see it made public the allotted fish numbers as well, when those targets are reached. Fishing is a privilege and a gift. If we all don’t take responsibility, we will all loose.

David Miller,

Terrace, B.C.

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