Let’s look at the facts truthfully, together

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the Gitxsan hereditary chiefs’ closure of recreational fishing, and the [Tsilhqot’in] request for non-native hunting closures. I agree that DFO has failed in managing this [salmon] resource. There has been 20 commercial openings since May, there has been six First Nations net openings as well, all targeting salmon before they reach the Skeena. However, it’s about time some bands take responsibility for their share of reducing the salmon stocks.

I have witnessed fish caught and sold for monetary gain rather to those band members in need. This under the guise of food fishing. Some nets are left for days at a time unmanned before being picked.

One of the biggest culprit of salmon loss has been the Babine Lake First Nations fishery netting sockeye in their spawning grounds and the eggs being sold.

Who’s selling the eggs?

To further add to the salmon decline is the failure of politicians addressing this situation. Conservation officers have refused to enforce the law, as well as chiefs over their bands members. It’s time DFO should be removed from Ottawa and implemented within BC.

All this lack of responsibility not only affects fishing but hunting as well. There was an article in the Williams Lake paper and the Prince George paper stating that [Tsilhqot’in] wanted all non-Indigenous hunting to stop because the decline of moose for sustenance, and yet do these bands hunt year-round?

It is time we realize First Nations are not the stewards of the land as they believe, that their managing policies is as equal as the DFO, and that there are many other people that rely on fishing and hunting for sustenance as they do. To target recreational fishermen who can only take two fish and non-Indigenous hunters who have three days to obtain bulls only, is not the answer.

I believe the answer can only come when we look at the facts truthfully and hopefully together, instead of through a coloured lens.

David Miller

Terrace, B.C.

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