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First Nation Heiltsuk calls for extension of herring fishery closure – Vancouver Sun

by ahnationtalk on June 8, 2015474 Views

June 7, 2015

The Heiltsuk First Nation is calling for a coast-wide closure of the 2016 herring fishery, after it successfully shut down the 2015 fishery on the central coast earlier this spring.

On Tuesday, the Bella Bella-based First Nation will issue a declaration that the herring and herring roe fisheries will remain closed until herring stocks have recovered. The Heiltsuk are in talks with the Haida and Nuu-chah-nulth to support a closure for the entire coast.

“We’ve been working with our neighbours, the West Coast (of Vancouver Island) and Haida Gwaii on the herring recovery and we hope they will join us,” said Marilyn Slett, chief councillor of the Heiltsuk.

At a 2014 First Nations summit, the three coastal nations called for a closure of the 2015 roe fishery — and 2016, if necessary — after Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) ruled that fishery could reopen in Haida Gwaii after a 10-year hiatus caused by poor stocks. Herring roe — the eggs of the fish laid on kelp — are harvested for a lucrative Asian market.

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