OTTAWA – Despite warnings from local First Nations, the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union and fisheries experts, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have lifted the ban on herring fisheries near Bella Bella.

“The Conservatives have mismanaged BC’s herring fishery into a state of crisis,” said NDP Deputy Fisheries and Oceans critic Fin Donnelly in the House of Commons (New Westminster–Coquitlam and Port Moody). “Instead of listening to the experts, locals, and first nations the government is creating uncertainty and division.”

The Heiltsuk First Nations has suspended community-owned herring licenses for the season to allow the stocks to rebuild. However on Friday, with no consultation or warning, the DFO lifted the commercial ban.  

“This government’s haphazard approach to fisheries is hurting communities and the economy,” continued Donnelly. “It’s time the Conservatives work with British Columbians and make protecting fisheries on BC’s coast a priority.”

– 30 –