Reporting on the December 7th Fishers Steering Committee Meeting
Ha’oom Fisheries Society met again with the Fishers Steering Committee on December 7th, 2022, to continue the discussion on groundfish management for the 2023 season and to discuss the Fisheries Implementation Roadmap, the crab fishery management, and the prawn fishery management.
For the 2023 groundfish fishery management, the Fishers Steering Committee provided the following recommendations:
- Continue to explore the following management option for groundfish: each Nation would receive 1/5 of the total allocation. The longline vessels and the fractional fleet would both share 1/5 of the allocation, and the allocation would be managed by trip limits. There would also be a 20% holdback for the fractional fleet. Note: In October of 2022, the Leadership Forum encouraged the discussion to be continued around this option.
- Open more groundfish quota at the beginning of the season prices are higher, then adjust the quota as needed throughout the season.
For the 2023 crab fishery management, the Fishers Steering Committee provided the following recommendations:
- Open the crab fishery to everyone instead of selecting a certain number of participants with a certain number of traps.
- Provide a minimum of 50 inside traps to each participant for the first five years to ensure that the fishery will be economically viable for each participant. This guaranteed access will allow participants to qualify for loans through NEDC that will enable them to purchase the gear required to enter the crab fishery. If a fisher is not using their allocated 50 traps after six months, they will be reallocated to someone who can fish them.
For the 2023 prawn fishery management, the Fishers Steering Committee provided the following recommendations:
- Encourage new applicants this year.
- Explore the option to add a third boat at a lower trap capacity.
- Request a viability study for a winter prawn fishery for several boats.
Also discussed during the December 7th meeting was electronic monitoring for longline vessels. The Fishers Steering Committee discussed the different options available that could replace the electronic monitoring system for longline vessels. The considered options were:
- Using a smaller drum or a hauler instead of a drum so the boat wouldn’t be considered by DFO as a “longline vessel” and wouldn’t need to be monitored with an electronic system.
- Having a 2,000-pound limit.
- Instead of a camera, the Nations would have a 100% dockside validation and hook limit.
The Fishers Steering Committee and HFS staff will write a briefing note to the Five Nations’ Lead Negotiators to propose these different options and bring this option to the negotiating table with DFO with the objective of removing the requirement for electronic monitoring system for longline vessels.
The Fishers Steering Committee will meet again on Tuesday, January 24th, to continue the discussion on groundfish management for the 2023 season. Also on the agenda will be the crab and prawn fisheries management and the anticipated fisheries opening and closure dates for 2023.
We encourage fishers to share their feedback and input on the following:
- the groundfish fishery management
- the different options to replace electronic systems for longline
- crab and prawn fisheries management
Please send your feedback to your Nation’s representatives before the January 24th meeting. If you would like to receive the meeting notes from this meeting, please contact Ha’oom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To provide your feedback and input or to ask questions about fisheries management, below is a list of your Nation’s representatives:
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations
Fisher Steering Committee Representative: Jon Manson
Fisheries Manager: Andrew Jackson – email@example.com
Fisher Steering Committee Representative: Andy Webster
Fisheries Manager: Luke Swan – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hesquiaht First Nation
Fisher Steering Committee Representative: Raymond Charleson
Fisheries Manager: Jacqueline Titian – email@example.com
Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation
Fisher Steering Committee Representative: Sam Johnson
Fisheries Manager: Nathan George – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ehattesaht /Chinehkint First Nation
Fisher Steering Committee Representative: Cory Hanson
Note: The Fishers Steering Committee is composed of Ha’oom staff and one fisher from each of the Five Nations. The Committee is the venue for fishers to provide input into the fisheries management cycle and to explore economic opportunities and viability. The role of the Committee is to gather fishers’ feedback and advise the Ha’oom Board and Ha’oom staff on fisheries planning and management.