We need your support to save our future fisheries.
The Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance (FRSA) was formed in 2016 due to alarming declines in opportunity and access for West Coast public fisheries, particularly on the Fraser River. The social and economic impacts and loss to our communities have been devastating and requires immediate attention and action.
Despite the stated commitment to conservation, it is clear that government is failing to provide the leadership, management, and resources necessary to achieve healthy and sustainable fisheries for British Columbians.
Recovered and abundant stocks that allow for thriving fisheries require immediate attention and action. While we understand that fisheries management must play a role in recovery objectives, that should be only one part of a broader comprehensive action plan and strategy. It will only be a strategy that looks at the eco-system as a whole and addresses known threats to fish and fisheries including seal and sea lion predation, illegal and unreported fishing, habitat loss and the effects of climate change that will provide the results that our fish and fisheries require.
While fisheries management tactics alone are proven to be ineffective, anglers continue to bear the brunt of measures often being the first to be closed and the last to be opened. Selective fishing techniques, well suited to the public fishery, are inexplicably denied even though they have minimal or no risk to stocks of concern. Impacts from the public fishery are at a minimum yet the importance of the social and economic opportunity provided by the activity is tremendous.
FRSA cannot not stand by to witness the demise of the heritage of British Columbians and healthy sustainable fisheries for future generations. The iconic salmon and so many aspects of life in BC that are effected by the species are just too important.
It is a mission of the FRSA to protect constitutional rights to access a common property resource fairly and equitably. Legal challenges are underway now. On September 9, 2020, following repeated attempts and requests for dialogue with DFO, FRSA members conducted a protest fishery to demonstrate the efficacy of selective fishing techniques that reliably avoid stocks of concern. Despite zero salmon being caught, DFO charged 6 FRSA members for illegally fishing for salmon. The charges present an opportunity for the FRSA to contest the unnecessarily restrictive regulations and make the point that legitimate fishing opportunities must be considered for all sectors.
FRSA believes that we must work together to build trust, understanding and respect from all stakeholders, First Nations, and government. This will require leadership, resources, and commitment to open and transparent dialogue and developing a better, collaborative plan. If we are going to protect and save our priceless heritage and BC’s most iconic species, now is the time.
Our goals are to see the development of a better process to save our fishery, to build awareness about our fish and fisheries for the public and politicians, and to grow a legal fund to defend our rights to access and fishing opportunities. These goals guide our work and need your support. We ask the public, industry and all organizations to join us in our commitment for a better future with sustainable fisheries for all.
Please join us today. Future generations are depending on your commitment.
BCFDF – BC Federation of Drift Fishers
BCWF – BC Wildlife Federation
FVSS – Fraser Valley Salmon Society
FVAGA – Fraser Valley Angling Guides Assoc.
PFA – Public Fisheries Alliance
SFI – Sport Fishing Institute of BC
VSFGA – Vancouver Sport Fishing Guide Assoc.