Natives warn against overfishing record sockeye run
A B.C. First Nations fishery advisor is warning against allowing commercial fishermen to scoop up as many sockeye salmon as possible during this year' massive salmon return on the Fraser River.
Some commercial fishermen have been pressing to increase catches with estimates the return could reach 30 million fish, arguing the salmon should not go to waste.
But Ernie Crey of the Sto:lo First Nation says it's arrogant to think that most of the fish need to be hauled in to levels approaching what he calls a "maximum sustainable yield".
He says it would be arrogant and "stupid" to overfish in order to put a smile on the faces of shareholders in fish companies and retail stores.
Crey says the surplus fish that reach spawning grounds mean more food for bears and eagles, while their decaying bodies enrich stream banks and nearby forests.
This year's sockeye salmon run on the Fraser River is the largest since 1913 and while the fish are abundant, the surplus has forced prices down by as much as 25 per cent.