By Alan S. Hale – The Northern View
August 18, 2011
Three different BC salmon conservation groups say that north coast fishermen have thrown back 1.37 million pounds of Chum Salmon – enough to fill 40 transport trucks – while rushing to catch as many Pink Salmon as they can within the 16-hour window. Regulations say that Chum Salmon have to be thrown back as quickly as possible, but fishermen who are preoccupied with the Pink Salmon are leaving the Chum out of the water for too long before being thrown back. The result, say the conservationists, is that about half of the fish do not survive afterwards long enough to spawn, making the problem of depleting Chum stocks even worse.
The Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust are not putting most of the blame on the fishermen who are actually breaking the rules, but instead are pointing the finger at the Department of Oceans and Fisheries.
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