Greetings, I hope everyone had a good season this year. Now that fall is here and everyone is back from fishing we need to start dealing with the business of the BCTFA.
At our AGM in April we again stressed that this organisation belongs to Canadian albacore fishermen. Whether fishing the high seas, Canadian or US zone everyone should have the chance to have input and decide where we need to direct our energy and time. While our goal continues to be having access for as many vessels as possible to the full migratory range for albacore, there are other issues as well.
We’ve been hearing various concerns at our AGM, TAB meetings and on the dock. Some of the areas we have been working with DFO include the creation of the stand-alone tuna license, trying to have a reasonable sports catch limitation implemented, having DFO contact the Bowie Seamount managers to determine the process for amending any closures affecting the tuna fishery, as well as looking into the development of live bait ponds. Another concern has been what many feel is the unwarranted volatility of the price paid for albacore over the last few seasons, in the past we have held meetings with the buyers, is it time for that to happen again? Many fishermen are now interested in discussing limited entry for the Canadian Zone and at our AGM it was voted to work with DFO to develop some options to bring back to the membership for consideration. These are just some of the issues we are dealing with on your behalf. To draw previous members back into the association it was recommended that membership and logbook fees for vessels which only fish in the Canadian and high seas zone be lowered. We want this organisation to get back to full strength with everyone viewing it as looking out for their best interest.
There were several Tuna Advisory Board meetings last year including elections. So your representatives are now: Ian Bryce-USA, Larry Teague-USA, Gregg Holm-USA, Peter DeGreef-USA, John Jenkins-CAN, Gordon Brooks-CAN, Dale Wick-CAN, Tom Lindberg-CAN, Bob McIntosh-High Seas, Korey Sundstrum-High Seas. Welcome and congratulations to those elected it’s great to have new people get involved.
To bring everyone up to date on the changes in DFO personnel regarding our fishery.
-Robert Day (DFO Director of International Fisheries Management, Ottawa) has taken over from Sylvie Lapointe as the new head of the Canadian delegation for the Canada/USA Pacific Albacore Tuna Treaty.
-On April 1 Corey Jackson (coming from the Aquaculture Directorate) became the acting Regional Pelagics Resource Manager replacing Lisa Mijacika who will be on assignment for a year with the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) program.
-On June 1 Jordan Mah became Regional Manager, Client Services with DFO’s Small Craft Harbours branch in Vancouver. He was replaced by Courtney Druce as the Fisheries Manager – Tuna and Sardines. However, she has left DFO as of October 30th.
We have not yet been informed of her replacement. Our concern is of course that with negotiations hopefully occurring next fall it is crucial that the people in place have a strong familiarity with the file.
On the international front the 89th session of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) took place in Ecuador from June 29-July 3rd this year. At this meeting there were no proposals addressing the management of albacore tuna, and management to a 2002-2004 baseline average continues. There was concern however due to possible increases in effort and the expanding size of the Chinese albacore fishing fleet.
Also at the Tab meetings last year, we expressed our concern regarding the recent WCPFC meeting that included a proposed management measure for South Pacific Albacore. Given that we found out about it after the fact the Board recommended that DFO consider re-appointing an industry representative as commissioner to the IATTC to ensure that the Canadian fishermen’s voice is heard at these meetings.
Lorne Clayton and the CHMSF continue to do great work on our behalf. In addition to the in season testing of albacore for mercury and omega 3 we felt that testing for radiation was important. There was a press release that small amounts of radiation from the Fukushima disaster had been detected in BC, the radiation detected was “well below internationally established levels of concern to humans and marine life.” Our testing of Canadian caught albacore also came back with no trace of any contamination. As you know from Lorne’s many emails our MSC was renewed and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following companies who contributed the 2 cent levy (2014 season) to the CHMSF in support of our MSC Certification and all the other work Lorne does.
North Delta Seafoods Ltd.
Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Co. -USA
Natural Gifts Seafoods
Aero Trading Ltd.
Seven Seas Fish/PASCO
Bornstein Seafoods Inc.- USA
I attended the WFOA meetings at the Seattle Fish Expo and their AGM in Astoria last year and plan to go to the Pacific Marine Expo again (Seattle November 18-20). The idea is to talk with as many US albacore fishermen as possible in an effort to show them the value of the treaties continuation. There is still one more year of fishing before the present regime expires and no treaty talks are expected before next fall. Keep in mind that the treaty no longer requires our governments to meet at the conclusion of the present three year regime and the US state Department continues to make it clear that without US industry support no talks will be held. However, there have been no conflicts reported during the past three seasons and with the strong catch in the Canadian zone we hope to achieve a more fair and equitable agreement this time around.
These are just a few of the areas that we are involved in. Call the office, email or get in touch with any of the following people with any other concerns or ideas you have. These are the people you voted to be your representatives at or most recent AGM. We want to hear from you.
Ian Bryce, Vice President
John Jenkins, Secretary
Tom Lindberg, Treasurer
Thank you for your continued support and as always please feel free to contact me,
Gregg Holm, President BCTFA
250 888 4894