VANCOUVER—A united front of fishers and allied workers from across British Columbia’s coast called for a government response to the disastrous salmon fishing run unfolding in 2019.
“Coastal communities cannot wait any longer. The results are clear and families are suffering,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The worst commercial salmon fishing season in fifty years demands an immediate government disaster response.”
Unifor’s fish and allied workers local was joined at a news conference by representatives of the Native Brotherhood of B.C., the Lax Kw’alaams nation, the Kwakiutl nation, and the former Vice President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. All speakers sounded the alarm about the economic hardship being experienced in all coastal regions as a result of unprecedented salmon run numbers.
Net fisheries on the north and central coasts are closed and no fisheries are expected for the Fraser River stocks on the south coast.
“There is a very real danger that the record low salmon runs we’re experiencing will have a ripple effect across other species and all that rely upon salmon for survival,” said Bob Chamberlin, former UBCIC Vice President and NDP candidate for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. “The government needs to rush assistance for fishers and develop a plan for truly sustaining wild salmon and industry, for the betterment of BC’s economy.”