Help save our BC fishing communities!
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Fisheries are a cornerstone of coastal communities and our local food systems!
Currently fisheries management is failing local fishermen, British Columbian fishing communities, and Canadians. This is a fundamentally broken system and it must be fixed for the benefit of our local communities and citizens from harvest to plate.
Our fisheries are being managed using policies that result in the privatization of access to our fish resources. As a result, our public resources are now managed for the benefit of private investors and increasingly multinational companies. It is our fishermen, our communities and Canadian citizens who are paying the price. A very real and current example is in one recent transaction of over $50m in licenses and quota sold to a corporate entity abroad.
In BC the exorbitant cost of licenses and quota is leaving no room for independent fishermen, and small scale community and family fishing businesses to exist. Corporate investors are driving prices up and any fisherman in BC will tell you that it is extremely hard to enter and remain in Pacific fisheries due to extreme financial barriers. Our fisheries policies have allowed these practices to go unchecked, and have led to loss of jobs, seriously damaging communities and cultures along the coast.
The damage being done is felt all the way from the boat to our dinner plates. Despite the bounty of healthy food supply our oceans provide, families and local small businesses - fish mongers, chefs, restaurateurs, etc.- cannot access a good supply of local fish for their dinner tables and their customers. Currently 85% of Canadian seafood is exported while up to 93% of the seafood available to Canadians is imported. Canadian food security is in great danger when we cannot provide our own people with access to our own seafood.
We, the undersigned, call on the The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to commit to fisheries policy reform for Pacific fisheries that can address these issues, and return the many benefits of this resource to our harvesters, communities and the Canadian public.
For more information on this issue visit our wesite: http://www.saveourbcfisheries.info/
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