Fisheries issues really just people issues

Fisheries issues really just people issues

Dear Editor,

Faced with the prospect of fishing bans this summer I’m hearing more negative comments about the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Although in the past I have had disagreements with DFO, I realize that the department is staffed with fisheries scientists who are doing the best job that they can to protect salmon.

Cries of mismanagement usually mean that a bigger allotment for fish was given to the other guys. Predicting run size is very difficult and if in doubt, DFO will always err on the side of conservation, unless politics gets in the way.

The tools used by DFO – counting out migrating fry, spawning escapement history, past year runs, and finally the test fishery to estimate returns – provide the best information possible.

The big unknown is ocean survival.

Who knows what Canadian fish are being harvested by foreign countries outside our jurisdiction? What is the effect of global warming? Warmer oceans mean more predators, more competition, and less food.

What is causing this climate change? We are, with our burgeoning population growth. In 1974 the world population was four billion and today we are approaching eight billion. Fish issues are really just people issues.

Doug Webb

Terrace, B.C.