The most effective way to help Pacific herring is to write to your local representatives and Fisheries Minister, Joyce Murray, telling them that you support an immediate moratorium and movement towards an ecosystem-based approach to management of the herring fishery. This would allow populations to come back to historic levels. It’s time for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to protect this #BIGLittleFish for generations to come.
Send a Personalized Email or Letter
Personal notes are highly valued and can be important in the fight for truly sustainable fisheries. Introduce yourself, where you are from and some key points outlining why you care about Pacific herring. Even a short and simple note can make a difference.
- Joyce Murray, Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Mailing Address: MP Joyce Murray, Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A6
- MP Gord Johns (NDP Fisheries Critic)
Mailing Address: MP Gord Johns, Courtenay – Alberni
1209 East Island, Suite 12, Parksville, British Columbia, V9P 1R5
- Find the contact info for your local MP here
To help you compose your message, here are some reasons that Pacific Wild believes that there should be a moratorium on the commercial herring kill fishery and a focus on ecosystem-based management:
- Four out of five fishing grounds have been closed. The herring fisheries off Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, the Central Coast, and the West Coast of Vancouver Island have been closed due to small populations and overexploitation of the fishery. The Strait of Georgia is home to the last large herring population and open commercial fisheries in B.C..
- Many First Nations are calling for a moratorium. First Nations have fished Pacific herring sustainably for thousands of years. Herring needs to be managed with cultural and ecological knowledge and by listening to what First Nations are telling us.
- There is evidence of distinct herring populations. Federal and provincial historical records indicate that there are both migratory and resident herring populations in the common commercial fishing areas. It has been observed that resident groups are extremely depleted and yet are still being grouped with the migratory herring. We do not know the true nature of these different populations but they are still being managed as they have been for nearly a century.
- Pacific herring play a key role in the coastal ecosystem, transferring energy from plankton (tiny plants and animals) to bigger animals, from salmon to seabirds to whales. Herring are an important food for fish like Chinook and coho salmon, lingcod, Pacific halibut, and Pacific hake. Marine mammals also rely on herring, including humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and seals. As well, endangered Southern Resident killer whales depend on Chinook salmon which depend on herring.
- The sac – roe fishery is unsustainable. The roe fishery catches herring right before spawning, interrupting the production of billions of fertilized eggs, year after year. The seine and gillnet kill fishery removes fish that would have the ability to spawn up to nine times throughout their lifecycle.
- DFO is using the wrong population baseline. If we are to continue the herring fishery, we must first address the current management system that uses an incomplete population estimate. The current management system uses a baseline from 1951, a point when herring numbers were already greatly reduced from when the commercial fishery began in the late 1800s.
If you’re sending an email, we kindly ask that you copy firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are writing a handwritten note, please send us a picture of your letter to email@example.com. This will help us track our campaign progress!
Better yet, share a photo of your handwritten letter or a screenshot of your email on social media and tag us @pacificwild!