Monday, September 2, 2013
Dean River Bycatch in Globe and Mail
With a high intensity gill net fishery taking a heavy toll on returns of steelhead, coho and chum salmon to the Dean River, outrage is spreading like wildfire through British Columbia. The Dean, with its unique run of wild summer steelhead is one of BC's most beloved watersheds and people are getting very tired of unsustainably high rates of incidental harvest being allowed by DFO in a non-selective Area 8 chum fishery. It is particularly outrageous because voluntary reporting means tthat DFO has no way to actually estimate exploitation rates on what is arguably BC's most valuable sport fishery. In the absence of good data, DFO insists nothing is wrong and maintains business as usual allowing gill netters and seine boats to pound wild salmon and steelhead populations into oblivion (see 24 commercial openings already this summer). Now Mark Hume, veteran environmental reported from the Globe and Mail has gotten in on the act with this story on Dean River bycatch and the concern it is generating.