Concern regarding the Steelhead Consultation
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has performed an emergency assessment of the Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead Trout populations and found them to be endangered. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada must now make a recommendation to the Governor in Council as to whether a listing under the Species at Risk Act is warranted.
Should a listing occur, it could result in closures of commercial, recreational and First Nations salmon fisheries on the South Coast without any assurance of mitigation. As an example, one proposed result would have the Johnstone Straits close from August to October eliminating all sockeye, pink and chum fishing during that period. We have advised the Provincial Minister that the consultation process has been rushed, the science upon which the decision is to be based on is weak, and the socioeconomic impact assessment has been virtually non-existent.
If you share our concern regarding the threat to the livelihoods of those who rely upon the South Coast salmon fisheries and the potential impact to the coastal and inland communities where these fisheries are conducted, we urge you to send a message to the Species at Risk Program, Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Example of suggested wording:
I rely on the west coast salmon fishery for my livelihood. A SARA listing of Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead Trout will decimate the south coast salmon fishery for commercial, aboriginal and recreational fishermen. Before a decision is made, I call on the federal government to fulfill its obligation for meaningful consultation with complete science, proper socio-economic impact assessment and a fair and reasonable timeline.