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Discussion Starter #1
This afternoon I heard a rumor that DFO posted signage at the local marina to inform the local FN's they had reached their number and would therefor have to stop fishing immediately. Couldn't believe such a development could ever occur, so I ran down to have a boo myself...

aYup, there it was, Black and White, posted right on the launch itself. The Notice states that the local FN's have surpassed 63,000 sockeye in their harvests, and that the Department feels that they have been "generous" in "allowing" that number for their "FSC" purposes. It goes on to state that their is NO working Agreement for Economic Opportunity Fisheries for this sector, and as such "ANY further fishing efforts and/or SALES (specifically) are NOT AUTHORIZED."

While I was reading this, a couple of FN fellows backed their shiny new 4x4 down the ramp, readied their gillnet, and launched. They paused long enough to see what I was reading, laughed, said "Yah... RIGHT", and carried on with Business As Usual. They also paused for a few moments to chat with 2 others boats from their group that were getting their nets in order, and the bunch appeared to be rather jovial about the posting that went up there this very day.

Methinks The Dino has bitten off a rather HUGE chunk with this move. Gotta give whomever grew a set long enough to draft that Notice and have it posted credit for doing so. But... methinks backing up the contents of that Notice is a VERY different matter! With road-side sales booming, sockeye still pouring through in some numbers, I will be absolutely amazed if their is ANY further action in support of the Department's stance. Business As Usual in other words. I rather hope I am in error in this assumption, but certainly am not holding my breath...

Front page of the local rag today has one of the Elder FN's was quoted saying "It is all about GREED" in regards to sockeye harvesting. The context was that he was suggesting cutting the FN's out of the loop at this point was being done to benefit the bag fleets (at it again today and tomorrow) and that the ratio of fish the FN's could take in comparison with all other sectors was somehow "unfair". Hmmm...

Guaranteed to be more developments on this one. Letcha know as it goes...

Cheers,
Nog
 

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I was at Clutesi yesterday and missed the sign but saw dozens of FN boats on the water and getting ready to head out. I also saw several band police and a very big RCMP boat, coast guard and a DFO boat. I was wondering why the heavy presence. Lots of action, almost makes me yearn for a day on a secluded lake drowning a few flies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The FN's haven't had a working Agreement regarding "Economic Fisheries" whatsoever on this run (besides the previous Court Ruling that states they can sell them) yet have been actively doing so for 2 months! Couple that with their aggressive and extremely early start when all other sectors were holding back in an attempt to get some of the early timed fish up into the lakes, and the extreme low-balling of their catch numbers to date, and it's not tough to understand why DFO wants them at least slowed down. They already receive the highest allocation number, guess that simply ain't enough...

A related article in the Vancouver Sun today: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/thewest/High+returns+sockeye+salmon+sparks+illegal+sales+Port+Alberni+area/3270022/story.html

One of the quotes from that: ""The illegal salmon sales have been prevalent -- we're extremely concerned about them," said Larry Paike, a DFO fisheries officer.

Concerned? Quite Possibly so. But with their hands very much tied, there isn't a damn thing they, nor anyone else can do about it. Kinda like what the Notice reflects, concern expressed, but what then to follow??? ::)

Nog
 

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It's almost like we need an Alexandra Morton with some political clout to champion the cause of making sure every sector is held accountable. Then again I wonder if the FN folks were not stripped of their ability to take fish to eat and sell to support their families back in the day would we have this to talk about? I have been really conflicted about this debate for so long. But, I'm an outsider. I don't live where all this happens so I don't have the same vested interest. I'm worried about a stand off at the OK Corrall over this latest development.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's almost like we need an Alexandra Morton with some political clout to champion the cause of making sure every sector is held accountable.
Wouldn't work.

As much as I have issues with a lot of what DFO does / doesn't do, in this particular matter I don't believe they (the Front Line Troops anyway) can be held responsible for the developments of late. Their hands are VERY much tied in what they can or cannot do by Court Rulings, Legislation and Policy that have declared Hand's Off when it comes to First Nations except under the most extreme of situations. As many FN's (most in BC in fact) have as yet "undefined" Rights regarding resource access, until such time as Final Agreements (Treaties) have been realized with each, the Justice System simply cannot address anything that even comes close to defining what those Rights might be. Simply stated, even the Supreme Court of Canada cannot enter into defining FN Rights and/or Privileges. These, Constitutionally, MUST be set out in a Negotiated Settlement BEFORE consideration can be applied to those who might step foot outside of them.

I initiated this thread to note the action regarding the posting of the Public Notice regarding local FN fishing activities. For that, I do believe DFO has taken a mighty step forward. It was a good First Step and took considerable intestinal fortitude to do so. What can legally follow is anyone's guess, however I perceive something must be in the works, or that Notice wouldn't even have been considered. Defining what that something may be is now in the hands of both DFO and the FN's. In my mind's eye, it is very much a Catch-22 scenario for the Department - they have now drawn a line in the sand, what they now do when that line is crossed will, for better or worse, be instrumental in defining future relations with all BC First Nations, as well as Public Perception of DFO's ability to deal with such occurrences.

Here's a related broadcast that aired yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4qsr6Z9skQ&feature=player_embedded

Kinda telling the story as it were.

So, Interesting Times in the Alberni Valley for certain. It will be VERY intriguing to follow the developments as they unfold. I will attempt to stay on top of those (tricky as I am away a LOT this time of year) and post what I learn as I am able.

Cheers,
Nog
 

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I wonder where the fella with the Bass Pro Shops hat in the video is from. 21 fish harvested in two hours. Looks like he has quite a few kids with him on the boat. Do out of Province kids need tidal licenses to harvest fish? Interesting..........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The case in point here continues to be a working example of the summary I posed above. The Tseshaht have publicly denied DFO's demand to stop fishing, noting that they "refuse to recognize DFO's Management Plan for Alberni sockeye" and "will continue to operate based on the Fishing Management Plan of their own design". The Hupacasath have publicly stated that "they will discuss the matter with their Elders and Chief in an upcoming meeting". Both continue to fish.
DFO's answer has been to engage in a PR Program designed to inform the general public that they would prefer if the FN's stop fishing, and warning of the dangers associated with purchasing "illegal" road-side fish sales.
At this juncture, there appears to be no forthcoming resolution to the issue at hand. Fishing continues, and frustrated DFO personnel sit on the sidelines (as they have been directed to).

It is quite the contentious issue here, heating up more each passing day. Personally I see no easy way to solve the divisions between the Management Authority and the First Nations Sector. The only real way to address this matter in anything resembling a permanent fashion is to get on with finalizing Treaties with both the local First Nation Organizations. Won't happen obviously in time for this year's run. I sincerely hope it can be addressed before too many more years' runs pass by... ???

Nog
 

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I've been reading this and it is interesting to say the least, Nog you are doing us all a service by posting it, thanks.

Now I am going to Tofino this weekend and on the way back I wanted to bring home a sock or two and didn't have time to stop and fish, ( which I really should do ), I am guessing it would be politically incorrect or even illegal to by them.
 

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I personally don't have a problem with FN selling fish licensed or unlicensed as there have been several precedent setting cases supporting FN rights to do so. As Nog has said, some settled treaties like the Nishga can do it. They manage their own fishery. Why would the bands in PA accept anything less knowing that if they were charged and/or fined, they would legally eventually not be held accountable. If the courts can't hold them accountable then what organization is going to charge them? The RCMP? DFO? No way, the posting of the sign is just DFOs way of appeasing the other sectors. Having said all that, if we are in danger of not reaching the targeted escapement numbers, then the bands need to do the right thing and stop fishing.
 

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Post #11
a guy I work with went over to port and bought 20 Sockeye on Sunday...$10 a fish...he asked the lady ''is this legal?''
her answer was if you get stopped they are a gift to you from me,
and you are going to smoke them and give them back....

well today at work he tells me he has a friend that wanted some so he gives him the ph# of the lady selling the fish, he phones her and the price is now $8 a fish!! AND she meets him in Whiskey Creek!!!(he's from Courtenay)

WOW whats that tell you?
 

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Post #11
a guy I work with went over to port and bought 20 Sockeye on Sunday...$10 a fish...he asked the lady ''is this legal?''
her answer was if you get stopped they are a gift to you from me,
and you are going to smoke them and give them back....

well today at work he tells me he has a friend that wanted some so he gives him the ph# of the lady selling the fish, he phones her and the price is now $8 a fish!! AND she meets him in Whiskey Creek!!!(he's from Courtenay)

WOW whats that tell you?
It tells me it's not legal and the lady is circumventing the law.
 

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Ilegal but who will have the cajones to issue a fine? The band has lawyers that will strike that ticket down in a heartbeat.


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Don't necessarily fine the FN selling the fish...charge the people BUYING the fish, and make it a significant amount to discourage doing it again (ie: 5K minimum)! If you take away the client, there is no business.
 

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Don't necessarily fine the FN selling the fish...charge the people BUYING the fish, and make it a significant amount to discourage doing it again (ie: 5K minimum)! If you take away the client, there is no business.
Fact is...There always will be a client no matter what the price! Your theory will only make it more attractive and lucrative!
 

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I meant have the police fine the buyer $5000/fish...that'll get their attention and quickly put the FN out of business. No matter what you say about FN, you're in a lose-lose situation.
 

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But it should flow both ways, if you fine just the buyers and you hope it will discourage the seller, what are they goping to do with all the fish they can't sell dump them in the bush like we see all the time out here in the valley your absolutly right 11th it is a lose lose situation
 

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Ilegal but who will have the cajones to issue a fine? The band has lawyers that will strike that ticket down in a heartbeat.
They already fought that one in the Supreme Court and the 2 First Nations Bands that fish the Somass lost. They couldn't prove that they had a pre-existing aboriginal right to sell a significant number of fish (pre-European contact fish commerce). That's why they do it under the table now.

Definitely need to go after the buyers, undercover....the fines can be substantial.
 

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I don't think the roadside sales make up the bulk of the illegal sales of our salmon...just saying...:)
 

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They already fought that one in the Supreme Court and the 2 First Nations Bands that fish the Somass lost. They couldn't prove that they had a pre-existing aboriginal right to sell a significant number of fish (pre-European contact fish commerce). That's why they do it under the table now.
I think they also know that The DFO stance is do anything to avoid confrontation.

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Discussion Starter #20
Nog,
I was specifically referring to the Supreme Court of Canada decision (R vs Smokehouse) from 1996 where the two Somass Bands (Sheshaht and Opetchesaht) were unable to prove a pre-contact “commercial” fishery:

http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/is/tcc-eng.asp
Old News, now superseded by the latest (last winter) decision.

The Vancouver Sun article gives a better picture of the current situation:
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/thewest/clashes+with+First+Nations+over+roadside+salmon+sales/3288781/story.html
Where did you see that an Agreement for the sale of fish has been struck between the Nuu-chah-nulth and DFO for this season? Negotiations are requested in the BC Supreme Court decision but BC courts can’t strike down any Federal laws and regulations or create agreements. Selling of native food fish is still illegal and selling of any fish requires either a licence or that legal agreement with DFO.
In any event, the decision is under appeal and may very well end up overturned or in Canada Supreme Court. Interesting to see how it plays out.
The Agreement Notice was in the local paper, as well as on the radio and local TV news. Done Deal.

And while the Fed's MAY Appeal the latest, they have less than the proverbial icicles chance in the hot place of getting that one through. Really!

Cheers,
Nog
 
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