The Fraser River Sport Fishing Alliance (FRSA) was formed in 2016 to regain predictable opportunity for the public fishery and ensure healthy and sustainable fish and fisheries for the future.
To achieve these objectives a comprehensive plan to aid in the recovery of stocks and rehabilitation of habitat is urgently needed. And, recognizing that specific salmon stocks of concern must be avoided and steps taken to reduce impacts to those stocks in fisheries that target more abundant stocks, the FRSA and affiliated groups seek to have proven selective fishing methods implemented by DFO for the public fishery and other sectors. Selective fishing can reliably protect and conserve stocks of concern and provide certainty and stability for fisheries that can properly implement selective techniques. The FRSA acknowledges that selective fishing plans and practices must be developed and approved co-operatively and collaboratively with all sector groups and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The FRSA is dedicated to providing a forum to discuss and develop solutions and to being a collaborative partner in building a vibrant future for fish and fisheries on the Fraser River. The leadership of FRSA brings a knowledgeable and committed approach to the promotion and education of the values and requirements of the public fishery in the province of British Columbia, particularly around the Fraser River.
The recent trajectory of many salmon and steelhead returns is alarming, with many stocks at a critical state. Balancing the impacts of habitat and climate change and the desire to harvest other more abundant stocks is an increasingly challenging task. While it appears that there are solutions, this is a crisis that needs immediate attention. While there must be a comprehensive and long term plan developed and implemented by DFO, the FRSA maintains that selective fishing techniques will reduce interception of species of concern and allow opportunities on abundant stocks. Sustainable harvest opportunities are critical to provide the social and economic values that are a part of our traditional and historic access to fisheries. All sectors must commit to fishing methods that are sustainable and provide a future for everyone.
FRSA will continue to encourage all interested stakeholders, concerned individuals and groups to come together in a spirit of co-operation and to build trust, respect and understanding. With this commitment, the FRSA can play an important role in developing certainty and stability for fish and fisheries now and for the future.
On September 9, 2020, concerned anglers, led by the FRSA, participated in a demonstration fishery on the Fraser River to reinforce selective fishery discussions and studies conducted over the last 12 years. The Sept 9 fishery reinforced what we know well, using selective fishing techniques can reduce risk to stocks of concern to near zero while providing essential opportunity to anglers on other, more abundant stocks.
It is worth noting that twelve years ago over 90 volunteer anglers, many of which are current FRSA members, participated in a month-long research study on the impact of selective sport fishing methods (bottom bouncing). The findings of the study were demonstrated once again on September 9th; selective fishing techniques are effective at significantly reducing or eliminating impacts to and encounters on stocks of concern. (Lower Fraser River Sockeye Recreational Hook and Release Mortality Study, 2008, J. O. Thomas and Associates/DFO/Pacific Salmon Foundation).
FRASER RIVER COLLABORATIVE TABLE
The FRSA and other public fishery stakeholders and organizations have been working to develop a dialogue forum with First Nations and commercial interests to discuss concerns of all harvesters on the Fraser River and its tributaries. This is a harvester driven initiative led by all Fraser River fishery stakeholders. While the forum is still taking shape, participants agree that an opportunity to discuss the concerns, issues, and solutions with each other and separate to government and bureaucratic interference and restrictions is well-worth exploring.
Your support as a FRSA member is more important than ever. Financial support for legal challenges, raising awareness, recruiting members, and contacting elected officials are all critical to our ability to make clear that our rights as Canadian citizens seeking predictable and sustainable opportunity are recognized now and for future generations. Please visit our website and Facebook at addresses below for donation and membership info.
We have initiated a fund-raising effort through many of the businesses that benefit from a vibrant and predictable public fishery. Many thanks to those concerned businesses and individuals that have contributed to date and in advance to those that plan to. We will look at additional fund-raising options such as raffles and fund-raising banquets when Covid restrictions are lifted. These initiatives will be a long-term effort requiring participation of all who support preserving our Fraser River heritage.
The reality is that our shared heritage is now under significant and immediate threat. We need to raise awareness amongst the public and elected officials and seek immediate action from bureaucrats and DFO before it is too late for species and stocks on the Fraser River, other systems in our province and for British Columbians and the public fishery.
Check our social sites for more details regarding fund raising efforts underway or planned.
FRSA EXECUTIVE TEAM