Unknown to most herring fishermen, HIAB has endorsed a ‘Herring ITQ demonstration fishery’ for this coming season.
It appears that most herring fishermen have not been consulted.
The Union certainly has questions:
As herring is a quasi-ITQ fishery anyway, what will the differences be? And is going to ITQs necessary to accomplish whatever the goals are? – which are not really clear. What is clear is that the email list of those who HIAB send the notice to is mostly companies, not fishermen.
The herring ITQ proposal is another slap in the face of those who are working for a licensing policy review of all fisheries. For Pacific Region DFO to make changes to herring without involving all active herring fishermen shows their arrogance and their bias towards ITQs.
The Union is calling for an open and transparent review of this proposal by all active herring fishermen and their communities as part of a licensing policy review of all fisheries.
DFO, on the other hand, is not waiting for a policy review – instead it is prepared to review requests from HIAB to change licencing to ITQs with out a licencing review at all. Brenda Spence, Acting Pelagics Coordinator replies to HIAB:
We ask – what will be the impacts on deckhands, skippers and vessel owners? Will ITQs put more power in the hands of CFC and other corporate licence holders?
Will herring ITQs consolidate power over prices to quota owner/buyers/processors?
Will active fishermen find it harder to extract a fair price for their roe herring?
If the herring seine fishery is ITQed can herring gillnet ITQs be far behind?
For the full proposal: Click here for link
For DFO's response: Click here for link