Non-native people need fish for food too

Dear Sir:

Re: Understand background to First Nations fishing request, Aug. 20, Terrace Standard.

I believe there is a lot to understand about native peoples food fishing, however there are some truths that are not presented.

In her letter to the editor Aug. 10, Joy Thorkelson stated that under the DFO Skeena Harvest rules, if the sockeye run is less than 400,000 sockeye, fishing will cease. Yet in 2013, when the run was closed to everyone, native peoples continued to fish well into the season when the escapement was below 400,000. When they finally stopped this, action was noted in the paper for fish protection.

Thorkelson also mentions that it is very ignorant for resident fishermen — as they have not a food need. However, there are many non-native families that have been here for generations that rely on fish. Especially when you can’t afford to buy fish in the stores.

The most important fact, that is never publicly discussed, is the illegal act of native peoples selling fish. If the fish is going to native communities I understand, but fish being sold indicates to me that food fishing is being abused. Why the government does not enforce the law in terms of illegally selling fish is beyond me. Maybe they don’t want to be called racists.

A final note, regarding Jackie Lieuwen’s article Tensions erupt on the Skeena River. I wonder how the German people feel when she mentions the Kraut Bar.

David Miller,

Terrace, B.C.

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