An E-Petition calling for the suspension of the provincial herring fishery is now live.

You can find it on the House of Commons website.

Initiated by Catherine Gray from Hornby Island, the petition is calling on the Government of Canada to:

  • Suspend the 2020 Salish Sea herring fishery until a whole ecosystem plan is developed;
  • Fairly compensate fishers for economic losses; and
  • Ensure that decisions are made with the full participation of First Nations and local communities.

The petition says that 

  • the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced that the Pacific herring population dropped by approximately one-third between 2016 and 2019, and will drop by more than 50 percent by 2020;
  • The unexpected drop in the herring population has led to overfishing of existing stock;
  • Pacific herring is the basis of the food web that supports salmon, killer and humpback whales, cod and halibut, seabirds and other independent species on the Pacific Coast; and
  • First Nations have constitutionally protected rights to herring which are an important food source and an integral part of First Nations cultures.

The petition has the support of Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns.

Johns said that we’re seeing a “salmon emergency unfold” in coastal waters and that people are very concerned about the inter-dependent species that salmon rely on for their food.

“Certainly this has come to light with the only herring opening on the Pacific Coast from Oregon to Alaska, and that’s the one in the Salish Sea, where the herring fishery was opened and again, the government… their modelling was wrong and they overfished the only herring fishery that was open on the west coast,” he said.

To link to the petition, click here.