Fin in the House: Selective fishing methods required to help Interior Fraser Steelhead


Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two e-petitions. The first is e-petition 1416, which was initiated by Poul Bech, a member of my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam, Anmore and Belcarra, which received 1,732 signatures. Thompson River steelhead are at risk of extirpation, with fewer than 200 expected to return to spawn from a run that once numbered in the thousands. Gillnets and purse seines in the chum salmon fisheries occurring in the Fraser River and approach areas intercept significant numbers of migrating interior Fraser steelhead and bycatch, which is unsustainable. Alternative selective fishing methods are required in order to help them recover.
    The petitioners call on the Minister of Fisheries to suspend gillnet fish and purse seine chum salmon fisheries in the Fraser River and approach areas, including Johnstone Strait during the annual interior Fraser River steelhead migration in the months of September, October, and November, and to work with gillnet and purse seine fishers to establish alternative, sustainable, fully selective and fully monitored fisheries practices during the annual interior Fraser River steelhead migration.