Herring Aid group stages Vancouver Island rally

Peter and Lynne Cracknell of Nanaimo hold up a sign for passing motorists, as more than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)Peter and Lynne Cracknell of Nanaimo hold up a sign for passing motorists, as more than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)
More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)
Karen Taylor holds up a sign for passing motorists, as more than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)Karen Taylor holds up a sign for passing motorists, as more than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)
More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)
Locky Maclean, Conservancy Hornby Island, with Chief George Quocksister Jr. Hereditary Chief of the Laichkwiltach Nation, on their way to the Herring Rally in Qualicum Beach on March. 1. (Jean Remi photo)Locky Maclean, Conservancy Hornby Island, with Chief George Quocksister Jr. Hereditary Chief of the Laichkwiltach Nation, on their way to the Herring Rally in Qualicum Beach on March. 1. (Jean Remi photo)
More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)More than 100 people attended a rally, organized by Herring Aid, Sunday in Qualicum Beach. (PQB News photo)

More than 100 people gathered at the Qualicum Beach waterfront on Sunday, for a rally in support of the protection of Pacific herring.

Rally organizers want industrial herring fishing suspended and want the herring to spawn and harvest roe in the wild, so they can respawn and feed the ecosystem.

Locky MacLean, who helps run Herring Fest on Hornby Island, arrived to the event with Chief George Quocksister Jr., Hereditary Chief of the Laichkwiltach Nation, by boat.

“Chief George’s stories about herring and how much it plays an important role in traditional culture along this coast, really highlights how little respect [the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] has toward Indigenous knowledge and experience, and how industry controls a fishery with no regards to the habitat or peoples who for thousands of years co-existed with an abundant herring population,” he said. “We need a moratorium to allow stocks to recover, and in future, this fishery needs to be co-managed with real stakeholders like First Nations, not industry lobbyists.”

The only remaining area of spawn is the background of the demonstration — it lies between Qualicum Beach and Comox. The fish are a primary food source for Chinook salmon. In turn, the food supply for endangered killer whales is under attack as well, since they rely on the Chinook for 80 per cent of their diet.

READ MORE: Rally planned in Qualicum Beach in support of herring

The event comes after MP Gord Johns voiced his support for the closing of the last herring fishery on Vancouver Island.

“I fully support the call by 53 Vancouver Island municipalities and the Islands Trust in their resolutions for a suspension of the Salish Sea herring fishery in keeping with the importance of applying a precautionary approach until the stocks have had a chance to rebuild. Further, I urge the government to provide meaningful financial compensation to local fishers affected,” said Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns earlier this year.

Several fishers were on hand at the rally and are on the other side of the debate. Rob Morley, chairman of the Herring Industry advisory board, said he sees some numbers around the dwindling fish population as misleading.

“This is a population that goes up and down through natural causes,” he said.

Morley also pointed to the number of jobs the industry creates, and what the loss of the last fishery could mean for communties.

“It’s worth about $40 million to the B.C. economy,” he said “It supports hundreds, if not thousands, of family-based businesses and individuals living in coastal communities.”

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Fisheries and Oceans Canadafishingqualicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Santa will be in Honeymoon Bay on Dec. 13. (File photo)
Santa to visit Honeymoon Bay on Dec. 13

Families must call ahead due to pandemic

“Say cheese, uh, apple… nine-year-old Jason Moran and mum Bonnie are all smiles over a number of sales made during “apple day” of local cubs and beavers. Jason, a wolf cub, was one of 22 boys who, with the ready assistance of mothers, sold several boxes of apples in money-raising scheme for various projects.” (<em>The Lake News</em> Nov. 26, 1980)
Flashback: Crime wave, canoe misfortune and a highway lawsuit

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Following too closely

Maintaining a buffer in front of your vehicle gives you time to recover from inattention

Sonia Furstenau
Sonia Furstenau column: MLA vows to keep up the fight

COVID-19 continues to strain our communities

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Most Read