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Author Topic: Discussion on Native illegal driftnets  (Read 6694 times)

Rodney

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Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« on: July 31, 2004, 12:59:17 AM »

This is a follow-up discussion regarding our barfishing trip that was dampened by illegal driftnetters. I understand it's an extremely sensitive issue, but worth discussing as most would agree changes need to be made. In order to prevent the discussion to turn sour, we welcome your opinion on what these changes should be, and how improvement can be made. What we do not want to see is the generalization of a particular race or any name calling, they of course will be deleted. If things get out of hand, we'll just close the thread. Let's hear it.

Rodney

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Chris' letter to the Minister
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2004, 01:00:09 AM »

The following is Chris' letter to the Minister, posted with his permission.

Dear Minister:
 
Today while out fishing on the Fraser River I for the first time in my life I felt ashamed to be a Canadian.
 
 I felt this way because I had two guests out fishing with me including a visitor from Denmark who had to witness illegal drift netting by First Nation fishers that has been going on for most of this year's fishing season.
 
Here we are trying to enjoy an afternoon of bar fishing and these drift fishers set their illegal nets in front of us and to save our rods from damage we had to pull them out of their nets way.
 
When explaining this to the visitor from Denmark how Fisheries and Oceans allow these illegal actions to take place she could not believe this is allowed to continue in Canada, it certainly would not in her homeland.
 
How many other fishers from throughout the world who fish the Fraser at this time of year see the same thing happening day after day. What do you think their impression is of which is supposed to be a democratic society when the law of the land is supposed top be upheld by those we put our trust in but is not.
 
 This illegal type of fishing continues because of your Government's inaction to deal with all the illegal fishing including drift netting that I hope but I am not sure you have been advised of by your senior managers because it continues daily.
 
Individuals breaking the law right under the nose of the RCMP and your Enforcement Branch because of orders from senior staff to leave them alone.
 
Your government then once again brings the pilot sales program back, is it a reward for these illegal fishing? They should be told if all these illegal fishing continues the program will be cancelled.
 
I would hope you will travel to British Columbia to get a first hand look at what is going on before it is too late and there is some serious incidents that are sure to happen if this illegal fishery continues to fester and grow.
 
The clock is ticking sir and it is your responsibility to stop it as the alarm is now sounding.
 
I await your response to me about this serious matter here on the West Coast.
 
Sincerely,
 
Chris Gadsden
 
One of many that cares for our fish stocks and our democratic society.

Fish Assassin

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 01:20:03 AM »

Might I suggest copies of the letter be sent to the Prime Minister, and Opposition MP's. Having worked in the government you will be surprised how fast action can be taken if the Opposition is involved.
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Flycastin

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2004, 02:27:25 AM »

Although its a well spoken letter, and I commend Chris for this...how far will ONE persons voice go?  Its almost like we need 10,000 more letters like this flooding their mailboxes before the voices will be noticed.

Good point, FA....drop the ammunition in the Oppositions lap and they will fire away at will.  :D



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casinoJim

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2004, 09:21:11 AM »

Question for Chris Gadsen,

Because I think you might be one of the most  knowledgeable on this site I am posting this public question to you.

What methods exactly?, and when exactly?, and where exactly? can the FN fishermen  use these methods for  fishing on the Fraser and the Vedder.

What constitutes legal and illegal on this issue.

I am asking this because if I saw the driftnet my first (uneducated) thought would have been that this probably was legal. That the problem is the FN lads were being confrontational about where they chose to set up their legal nets.

I have allways thought the Observe, Record , Report credo should be prefaced with something like "Read" as in "Read up on the regulations". Then you would know what to Observe, Record, Report.

R.O.R.R

Thank you Chris,
CJ.

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The Gilly

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2004, 09:56:46 AM »

How bout we all sign it as a petition?  Can you do this rod?  You have all our emails.
Sorry your day was ruined, but especially for your Danish friend.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2004, 09:58:07 AM by grumman »
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Fish Assassin

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2004, 01:31:41 PM »

Further to my earlier post, I would like to suggest Chris include the date, time, place where the incident took place.  I say that because any letter addressed to the Minister will not be answered by that office. Rather a copy of Chris's letter will be forwarded to the Region where the incident took place and a bureaucrat will be asked to provide the background and a "suggested" response for the Minister's signature. Giving them the date, time and place will enable them to conduct an investigation.
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keithr

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2004, 01:56:53 PM »

When I was in Bella Coola about a month ago, hanging around the center of town one evening, a local guy (most of the people in Bella Coola are FN, as was this guy) chatted us up.  He was a nice enough guy, seemed like, and even after we sort of suspected he was checking us out for the local RCMP (who kept driving by and getting waved off by this local fellow) we kept on shooting the breeze with this fellow.  Then he hauls out a baggie, and I think we are about to be set up.  But no, it's full of dried salmon which he gave us some of.  This leads to talk about fishing, and he tells us that he and some friends put in a drift net at the bridge (up river from Bella Coola) that morning and when they pulled it out just above town they had 13 salmon.

I right away had a bunch of thoughts about this, but the last one was, "well, I guess it must be legal, and it is their river."

Later I became aware of another fishery that has largely disappeared from Bella Coola, a small fish they traditionally used as a source of oil (anybody heard of the grease trail?).  It seems to be pretty well accepted that shrip nets are responsible for this.

In the Bella Coola marina I notice a Dept. of Fisheries (or like that) boat with about 500 horsepower of outboard motors docked there, and I find out that the boats fishing in the ocean are allowed out only on some days of the week.

What perplexes me is this:  the powers that be in BC really micro-manage sport fishing (this kind of hook, this kind of bait, fish no shorter or longer than . . ., so many in possession, so many per day--and the limits are pretty restrictive (one fish, two fish); yet when it comes to really gross abuses, like some of those discussed on this site, the official response seems to be a shrug of the shoulders.  I'm wondering how long it's going to take the FN folks to realize that dynamite makes a very effective way to clean out a fishing hole.
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Rodney

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2004, 02:10:40 PM »

Good points Keith.

Doc, yesterday's incident was unfortunate but didn't totally spoil the day. Chris promised fish but Nina and I doubted him the whole time anyways. ;D I was glad to be there when it happened as it gives me a better sense of what has been going on, previously I have only been given second-hand information.

I will let Chris or anyone else to clarify what is a legal FN fishery and what it is not (set net vs. drift net) as I am not as familiar with it. It wasn't until yesterday I realize set nets are legal during openings while drift nets are illegal.

I think the key issue is not that some are getting more fish than others (us). The problem is the minority of the priveleged choose to abuse what is being given to them. The problem is that the fragile resource will eventually diminish while people are fighting, not resolving. The problem is eventually someone is going to get seriously hurt before actions are taken.

So readers please be aware what some of the members are trying to achieve on the forum. We are not trying to initiate some kind of conflict on the river, instead we wish to see the right thing to be done so we'll still see salmon swimming up the Fraser in a few decades from now.

chris gadsden

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2004, 03:27:43 PM »

Further to my earlier post, I would like to suggest Chris include the date, time, place where the incident took place.  I say that because any letter addressed to the Minister will not be answered by that office. Rather a copy of Chris's letter will be forwarded to the Region where the incident took place and a bureaucrat will be asked to provide the background and a "suggested" response for the Minister's signature. Giving them the date, time and place will enable them to conduct an investigation.
All information recorded in the SDA report book and phoned in  to the report line. Incident was  filmed and pictures taken. Thanks for the input so far evryone. Will be taken to the SDA meeting this week.

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2004, 05:40:21 PM »

You all sound like this is something new ! It's been going on for years and years . Is it the first time it has happened to you ?
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chris gadsden

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2004, 08:16:52 AM »

Although its a well spoken letter, and I commend Chris for this...how far will ONE persons voice go?  Its almost like we need 10,000 more letters like this flooding their mailboxes before the voices will be noticed.

Good point, FA....drop the ammunition in the Oppositions lap and they will fire away at will.  :D




I hope a number of people have also sent letters or e mails out. When you do ask for a reply.

It will all help as we move to protest day.

chris gadsden

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2004, 08:19:39 AM »

Question for Chris Gadsen,

Because I think you might be one of the most  knowledgeable on this site I am posting this public question to you.

What methods exactly?, and when exactly?, and where exactly? can the FN fishermen  use these methods for  fishing on the Fraser and the Vedder.

What constitutes legal and illegal on this issue.



Will send you a PM later today.

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2004, 08:24:23 AM »

How bout we all sign it as a petition?  Can you do this rod?  You have all our emails.
Sorry your day was ruined, but especially for your Danish friend.
A petition was recently been done and was read in the House. I believe more petitons are being obtained for Chuck to once again read in the house. They were in some sports shops but that was not working too well so they were done by talking to people.

A good idea would be to take them out on the boat to the bars now, but there is only so much time but I will talk to the fellow that was heading it up.

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Re:Discussion on Native illegal driftnets
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2004, 08:25:23 AM »

Copy of letter now sent to Chuck and John as suggested.