Broken, broken, broken…

From an article on the Tyee website:

On Feb. 21, 2014, Federal Judge Leonard Mandamin ruled in favour of the injunction, noting that DFO’s decision to reopen the areas at a total allowable catch of 10 per cent instead of 20 per cent was, in his view: “fudging the numbers.”

“It is not science-based, but in effect a statement ‘there is a conservation concern here, but if the fishery is to be opened, take less,'” he wrote, noting that the DFO’s approach was used to sidestep the conservation assessment.

“It seems to me once the minister and the DFO depart from science-based assessments the integrity of fisheries management system is harmed,” the judge wrote.

This relates to a decision by the Federal Minister of Fisheries to set an arbitrary total allowable catch for herring on the west coast of Vancouver Island – this despite the fact that the areas have been closed for herring fishing since 2006 due to serious herring population concerns in those areas.

From another article on the Tyee website referring to Minister Shea’s ‘political’ decision, over a ‘science-based’ decision.

This was revealed in an internal DFO document released yesterday during a court hearing of five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations’ injunction against DFO’s proposal to reopen the west coast of Vancouver Island to commercial herring roe fisheries in 2014.

In a memorandum addressed to the minister on Dec. 9 2013, DFO scientists recommend maintaining the closure of the areas around the west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and Haida Gwaii for the 2014 fishing season.

Despite the advice, [Minister] Shea announced on Dec. 23, 2013 that the three areas would be reopened to commercial herring roe fisheries at a harvest rate of 10 per cent in 2014

Any surprise that that announcement was made a mere few days before one of the biggest holiday times of the year? (hmmmm).

This set of DFO decisions coming in light of the absolute failure to institute any of the changes recommended by the $25 million Cohen Commission investigating Fraser River sockeye populations.


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