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Author Topic: Would our salmon fishery go the way of the halibut fishery without salmon farms?  (Read 3487 times)

aquapaloosa

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Or should the question be is our sport halibut fishery going the way it is because we do not farm them?

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=657669

What do you think?
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Chicken farm, pig farm, cow farm, fish farm.

alwaysfishn

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What's the problem with the halibut fishery? The recreational sector just got an increase of 3% to 15% of the halibut allocation and if they want they can buy more.
You are aware that the recreational sector only gets 3% of the sockeye fishery......

If the aquaculture industry wants to farm halibut in land based containers, then go for it!
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IronNoggin

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What's the problem with the halibut fishery? The recreational sector just got an increase of 3% to 15% of the halibut allocation and if they want they can buy more.

Are you really that far out to lunch??  ???

Wondering...
Nog
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Dave

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Nog, meet alwaysfishin .... alwaysfishin, meet Nog.   Let the debate begin, should be a dandy. :)
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alwaysfishn

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Are you really that far out to lunch??  ???

Wondering...
Nog

First I have to thank Dave for introducing us.....    ;D

I don't think I'm out to lunch at all, and in spite of you seeing the situation differently, I wouldn't suggest that you are out to lunch  ???.  I would suggest that because you are so close to the situation, that you are not able to see the forest because of the trees...

I've heard a lot of discussion on the topic and the prevalent theme seems to be, that we the public own the fish, so how can it be ok for the commercial guys to get the lions share of the quota. Under that argument I would agree.......   However how will the public get access to that resource if the commercial guys are not out there catching the fish and selling them to the public? The sports fishing group (that fishes for halibut) makes up probably less than 1% of the population. If you give the sports fishermen 100% of the allocation, you're only allowing 1% of the the public to have access to a publicly owned resource. It just doesn't make any sense!

At least with the commercial fishermen catching and distributing the fish, 100% of the public can have access to that resource. In reality, if my percentages are even close to accurate, then the sports fishermen should be limited to 1% of the allocation, or perhaps 3% such as is allocated in the sockeye fishery. In my opinion the 15% is a coup for the sports fishing industry.





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IronNoggin

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I would suggest that because you are so close to the situation, that you are not able to see the forest because of the trees...

The reason I used the "out to lunch" line was completely due to what you posted "The recreational sector just got an increase of 3% to 15% of the halibut allocation". That rather well meets the given criteria.  Not meant to be offensive to you as a person, but rather that statement.

FYI: The previous "allocation" to the Recreational Sector was 12%. DFO "generously" increased that to 15%.
The problem with that scenario? This overall is simply a perceptional matter. An Intentional Smoke & Mirrors move in order to appear to be "doing something".

3% of the TAC represents less than any catch estimate estimation error ever made. The commercial operators' annual catch has never been within 3% of the IHPC quota. According to DFO estimates the recreational fishery was over their "share" by greater than 3% last year even with an early shut down. It takes very little "tweaking" of effort or success rates to bump the CPUE in DFO's guesstimates by 3%, which means that effectively, nothing has changed.

DFO and the conservatives are masters at this game and knew full well that 3% would appease many, but in function means absolutely nothing.


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... if they want they can buy more.

Certainly  ::)

This year's recreational fishery will be shortened again, NOT due to conservation concerns, but rather directly related to "Ownership" of the fish. The proposed leasing of quota from commercial quota holders directly implies such ownership, furthering the de facto situation that the vast majority of the resource "belongs" to a handful of private enterprises. Note the line in the latest release: "Fisheries and Oceans Canada will move forward with regulatory changes to continue this market-based transfer mechanism for the long term." It is obvious that DFO disputes the Supreme Court Decision which clearly states that private ownership of fish stocks (in the water) is ILLEGAL, and will carry on with this same contravening behavior for the foreseeable future.

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However how will the public get access to that resource if the commercial guys are not out there catching the fish and selling them to the public?

In excess of 85% of the current commercial catch is EXPORTED out of Canada. The fishery does NOT cater to the Canadian Market beyond a measly 14% of landed catches. It is NOT about providing Canadian Consumers with access, it is all about the money. Profits - into the hands of many who don't even bother to fish, rather sit idly by and charge excessive rates for access to the quota for Honest Working Fishermen.

DFO is mandated to look after the resource "for the greatest benefit of all Canadians". Do you honestly believe that imposing unrealistic restraints on the general public's access to their own resource, while supporting the lucrative money-making machine represented by the current ITQ program in any way reflects that mandate??

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If you give the sports fishermen 100% of the allocation, you're only allowing 1% of the the public to have access to a publicly owned resource. It just doesn't make any sense!

NO-ONE is asking for or suggesting any such nonsense. What is being sought is a realistic, fair and equitable division of the allocation such that the recreational sector realizes stability, and certainty of season dates over the long haul. The numbers that have been discussed approach as 20% allocation for the recreational anglers, and 80% for the commercial sector. Such an allocation would allow for a stable recreational angling season, whilst still providing for much of those inflated incomes the Fish Brokers have become so accustomed to.

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In reality, if my percentages are even close to accurate, then the sports fishermen should be limited to 1% of the allocation, or perhaps 3% such as is allocated in the sockeye fishery. In my opinion the 15% is a coup for the sports fishing industry.

And once again with that statement you well prove your unfamiliarity with the situation at hand.
Perhaps time to do a little homework and get back to me with what you may find...

Cheers,
Nog
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alwaysfishn

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And once again with that statement you well prove your unfamiliarity with the situation at hand.
Perhaps time to do a little homework and get back to me with what you may find...

Cheers,
Nog

Firstly you can stash your condescending remarks Nog. I don't think they are your style and certainly don't add to a discussion. The fact is there is more than one point of view on this topic and mine is probably more objective than yours.

I don't think your point of view represents the sports fishermen, rather it represents the commercial sportsfishing lodges and guides who just like the commercial fishermen are doing this for profit.

In truth the sport fishermen who spend money on boats, fuel and equipment, go fishing for halibut to be able to put a few in the freezer. Yes they contribute a lot to the economy, but like any fisherman or hunter they plan their outings around the seasons and quotas set for the resource. The season is long enough and the allocation high enough for them to be able to get the fish they want to eat. They are not the ones that are protesting the allocation, because it has minimal effect on them.

On the other hand the sportfishing lodges and guides want more quota so that they can extend their season (and profits). Nothing wrong with that except that they are not being honest about it. Instead they are using the public resource argument and suggesting that sports fishermen are being short changed when that is not true. 

I'm not sure where you get your numbers on the halibut exports but I would venture to say that more than 50% of the sports fishermen who fish for halibut are probably foreigners. So the argument that the sportsfishermen are benefiting only the Canadian public doesn't fly as well.

The truth is the protest about allocation has nothing to do with the ordinary sportsfishermen and everything to do with the commercial sportfishing operations trying to protect and expand their own businesses and profits. Unfortunately presenting it that way probably wouldn't garner the same level of empathy from the public.


 
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IronNoggin

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Firstly you can stash your condescending remarks Nog. I don't think they are your style and certainly don't add to a discussion.

True that. Apologies. Not in the way of defense, but rather as an explanation: Been under a LOT of stress the past few days. Not only this issue, but a few private ones as well. Left me with more than a little in the way of a surly attitude. Again, apologies that drifted over into what I posted.

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I don't think your point of view represents the sports fishermen, rather it represents the commercial sportsfishing lodges and guides who just like the commercial fishermen are doing this for profit.

...They are not the ones that are protesting the allocation, because it has minimal effect on them.

On the other hand the sportfishing lodges and guides want more quota so that they can extend their season (and profits). Nothing wrong with that except that they are not being honest about it. Instead they are using the public resource argument and suggesting that sports fishermen are being short changed when that is not true.  

There is no difference between the Average Angler and those who cater to them. Nor should there be.
When looking at engaging in angling for halibut, the Average Angler has three choices:
1) Purchase, outfit, maintain, fuel, insure, etc a seaworthy rig capable of safely transporting them to the grounds and back. Pretty big bucks.
2) Ride with a Buddy who owns and operates the same as above.
3) Engage the services of a charter rig and let them look after all of the related expenses.
Rather easy to determine just which of those represents the least expense, and therefor the more viable option for many.

It is really not all that surprising that ~ 60% of the halibut caught by the recreational fleet (if one believes DFO's suspect numbers) are facilitated by the guide groups.
That is reasonably reflective of the percentage of people that are capable of either 1) purchasing, outfitting and running a capable/safe rig while putting in sufficient time to understand the in's and outs of the fishery, or 2) heading out with a reliable guide who handles all of that for them. It is obvious which represents the greater expense to the Common Man, thus not so surprising which they will choose to action on a more frequent basis.

Truly we are one and the same.

Resident anglers, guides, and lodges - we are one group, that being the Recreational Sector. Taking shots and pointing fingers at who amongst us takes what & where doesn't change anything, but definitely divides the group. Such infighting and internal divisiveness is EXACTLY what DFO counts on (and often intentionally creates). Divided we FALL. This divisive tactic is employed quite often by those who govern the commercial sector. It is obvious that it is in their better interests to keep us as divided as possible in this matter. For the reasons noted above, it very much is a misnomer.

And FYI: It VERY MUCH IS the Average Angler that is "protesting the allocation". Of course the guides and lodges are involved, but it isn't simply them, nor simply their clients taking issue with the way DFO mismanages the allocation of halibut. In fact the greatest number of letters filed, and the highest level of attendance at the many Town Hall Meetings of last year were from the Average Angler or General Public pool. Not surprising. In the area I fish (off Ukee) on the halibut grounds any given good weather day, there will be perhaps a dozen charter rigs, surrounded by up to eighty private rigs working the same fishery. Conditions may be different as one wanders northwards (access issues) but from the North tip of the Island south, the number of private rigs on the water greatly out-number the charter rigs. Thus it follows that many who do own their own rigs are heavily involved with seeking what they consider to be a Fair & Equitable Solution to the current problems related to allocation.

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I'm not sure where you get your numbers on the halibut exports but I would venture to say that more than 50% of the sports fishermen who fish for halibut are probably foreigners. So the argument that the sportsfishermen are benefiting only the Canadian public doesn't fly as well.

The numbers regarding export (> 85% of landed catch) come directly from the Pacific Halibut Management Association, the commercial industry's umbrella organization. Likely very close to reality.

A simple look at the BC Government website which lists the relevant statistics note 80% of the participants in the recreational fishery are non- guided. Further it goes on to note that 65% of those who are guided are Canadian. From personal experience, I can attest that the past few years have seen an increase in the percentage of Canadian clientele. Not overly surprising given the economic conditions of many countries these days. The number of foreigners with disposable income has dwindled very noticeably, and that is well reflected in their presence amongst the clientele base.

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The truth is the protest about allocation has nothing to do with the ordinary sportsfishermen and everything to do with the commercial sportfishing operations trying to protect and expand their own businesses and profits. Unfortunately presenting it that way probably wouldn't garner the same level of empathy from the public.

The suggestion that the guide / lodge operations are expanding, or seeking the same is in error. In fact, they too have suffered under the current economic climate, and many have been forced to downsize, some even shutting their doors forever as a consequence. There is no hidden agenda related to the protest as you suggest. Most are fighting simply to remain somewhat viable these days.
Nor is there some sinister drive to expand the season as suggested. What they, and their Average Angler allies are seeking is simply Stability and Certainty of season from year to year. Something quite unattainable under the current approach.

The TRUTH is the protest about allocation has EVERYTHING to do with Ordinary Anglers. And the focus of their angst has as much or more to do with the process wherein DFO continues to openly support the notion that this resource "belongs" to a select few privileged Individuals, rather than the Common Property Resource the Supreme Court insists it very much is.
 
Interesting little bit of related information:
The current commercial "bycatch mortality" for Area 2B is approximately 16% of the current yield. That would be referring to “commercial” U32 bycatch, which is counted and goes against BC TAC. 16% bycatch mortality for Area 2B? Equals a LOT, especially when looking at 15% total sport TAC! Just to make this clear, "commercial" U32 bycatch mortality for Area 2B is approximately 16% yield loss! How is this justifiable? Especially in light of the Recreational Sector's total allowance being restricted to a lower percentage than the commercial fleet simply tosses over the side?

Finally (for now I assume) I suggest a a little look at the current pricing for this delicacy in our own Canadian Markets. Even though that market represents less than 15% of the commercial landed catches, it is of course relevant. Current market pricing for actual purchase of Halibut Quota ranges from $ 55 - 65 dollars. Per Pound. Leasing ranges from $ 5.50 to 6 and change /pound. This of course is reflected in the inflated sticker price in those food markets that carry the product.
Why?
The matter of pricing is directly due to DFO turning what was once a Common Property Resource into a Trade-able Commodity - OWNED exclusively at one point by those they chose to GIFT it to. As with any stock market, limited supply translates to ever increasing pricing. Today, less than half of those who "own" our fish, actually choose to not fish it themselves. Instead they have become "Brokers", trading on the hard work of Honest Working Fishermen who pay excessive access fees, denying public access in order to keep those massive profits rolling, and openly exploiting their "ownership" of our resource in order to keep them in luxurious lifestyles.

On the East Coast, DFO has publicly stated that this type of "management" is unfair, and cannot continue. The adage "Use It Or Lose It" as related to stock quotas very much applies. On our Coast, they are madly pursuing the opposite. To many, this begs the question WHY?

Were, as in the case of the East Coast, the Fish Broker element to be removed (Use It Or Lose It), costs to the real Working Fishermen would be greatly reduced, allowing more in the way of compensation for them and their crews for the fish they land. This could translate to lower pricing in the market place, of obvious benefit to those who choose to purchase said product. And free up a significant amount of quota for both bycatch purposes (Integrated Groundfish Management) while allowing for a viable, stable and certain sportfishing season on an annual basis. On the surface this would appear to be the appropriate answer. However the Deep Pockets involved certainly don't wish to see their "Cash Cow" disappear. And obviously those limited few carry MUCH more Political Clout than the cumulative interests of guides, lodges, Average Anglers, and the entire industry that supports their endeavors.

Sad in so many ways...  :'(

Cheers,
Nog
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 01:36:27 PM by IronNoggin »
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greybark

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   Back to the OP regarding Halibut farming . Last I heard Halibut Farming experienced  poor results and a even gloomer prognosis . That was several years ago , hopefully things have changed.
Any upgrades ?
   Cheers
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Dave

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   Back to the OP regarding Halibut farming . Last I heard Halibut Farming experienced  poor results and a even gloomer prognosis . That was several years ago , hopefully things have changed.
Any upgrades ?
   Cheers

Greybark, if there was money to be made farming halibut you know it would be happening.  I would think this species, due to their unique physiology adapted to bottom dwelling/feeding would require far too much ocean floor and depth to make husbandry economical.
But, say we genetically modified a halibut with perhaps a few pink salmon genes…

Just joking alwaysfishin ;D ;D ;D
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bigblue

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Halibut is widely farmed in South Korea with some 41,000 tons produced in 2010.
99% of production comes from on-land tanks.
Most are harvested at smaller size for sashimi and sushi market.
Some are even exported live to Vancouver.
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absolon

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The "halibut" grown in Korea is the Olive Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). It grows to about 32" in size and has a somewhat different life history than ours.

The halibut here is a true halibut, the Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and can grow three times the size of the Olive Flounder.

Norway is growing true halibut but in small quantity, the Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) and there is apparently a small Canadian operation as well, but these grow in salt water pens.

There is interest, but also technical challenges.

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/finfish-poissons/halibut-fletan-eng.htm

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greybark

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    Thanks absolon , there was a 1/2 hour television show several years back that layed out what your link did .
    Cheers
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