HERRING: A path forward for fisheries management on the coast
Just over a year ago, the Heiltsuk Nation issued a tribal ban prohibiting an industrial sac roe herring fishery as they felt stocks had not recovered sufficiently after collapsing years earlier. Commercial gillnet licenses held by the Heiltsuk were voluntarily suspended in support of this declaration.
Ignoring the ban, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) opened the seine sac roe fishery in Heiltsuk territory on March 22, 2015. Instead of giving 24 hours advance notice as requested, DFO informed the Heiltsuk of the opening half an hour after the fishery began. Adding insult to injury, the fishery was opened in Spiller Channel, an area noted to be of high priority for protection by the Heiltsuk.