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New Pacific Salmon Treaty Signed

January 12, 2009 – CBC Radio – Kathy Scarfo Interview on Salmon Treaty

“”On principle alone, there’s an issue that needs to and should have had serious debate as to the ethics of whether or not Canadian natural resources are up for sale?”

“In principle we disagree with selling our resources, but if you’re going to do that, at least get good value for them. They’re worth an incredible amount to Bonneville Power on the dams on the Columbia, who spends $800 million a year on fisheries programs trying to make sure that they get fish back to the ground. If they have to cut back on water flows this year, if we didn’t give these fish, they would be losing billions of dollars of power, so why are we giving up valuable jobs in a region that desperately needed jobs that we’ve invested in , that we continue to invest in over the years. Why are we giving that up for so little value?”

January 10, 2009 – Times Colonist – Trollers Take Biggest Hit

Ucluelet`s Mike Smith has no doubt about what the new U.S.-Canada salmon treaty means to trollers on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

“It’s pretty much the end of us, “he says. “They gave away all our fish, eh?“

That leaves the 62-year-old with a salmon licence he can’t use and a 41-foot boat, the Blue Eagle One, that’s really not much good for anything else.

Smith says the loss of the Chinook is enough to scuttle trollers, the stubby little hook-and-line boats long synonymous with the coast…

But trollers figure they’re just the scapegoat, that the Chinook allowed to escape here will only be caught in the United States.

The ripples go well beyond the trollers; fuel docks disappear, fish processors lose their profit margin, the infrastructure that props up the rest of the commercial fishery is weakened…

January 8, 2009 – Area G Troll Fishermen – Sells Out B.C. Fishermen

“Rural fishermen on the West Coast of Vancouver island are outraged at Ottawa’s recent deal, as part of a renewed Pacific Salmon Treaty, that cuts the Canadian Chinook salmon commercial catch by at least 50 percent for ten years and leaves Canadian fishermen with only $30 million in compensation.“

“Estimates place the direct value of this 50 percent Canadian catch reduction at $100 million over ten years, plus another $200 million generated in economic multipliers through processing and fishing fleet activity.“

“American fishermen and U.S. hydroelectric power companies drove the deal with threats of lawsuits against their own federal government prior to the actual negations. American power companies and fishermen are expected to reap from this Chinook agreement more than $400 million a year in extra hydroelectric power and salmon catches. Alaskan fishermen are only reducing their catch by 15 percent under this new agreement.“

“Both Alaska’s 15 percent reduction and Canada’s 30 percent reduction will mean more Chinook to the Columbia River making it easier for the U.S. hydro companies and American commercial fishermen to comply with the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which protects several depleted Chinook salmon runs. However, the Canada-U.S. salmon agreement does not force American governments and power companies to rebuild and protect habitat that is the real cause of the problem and necessary to save salmon.“

December 12 2008 – Letter of Area G Fishermen to the Prime Minister

“Within the Proposal is an unprecedented recommendation that Canada sell its fishing licences on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to the U.S. for $30 million.”

December 8, 2008 – Letter of Area G Fishermen To Fisheries Minister

In particular, we are concerned with the amount of mitigation being proposed and the cost to our fleet in loss of livelihood and direct investments in our enterprises. This exceeds the amount of $30 million being discussed.

We are concerned that the deal is to trade off anywhere from $100 to $300 million in Landed Values of fish for far less than product value, not to mention jobs and related values.

November 13, 2008 – Letter of Area G Fishermen to Fisheries Minister

The southern U.S. wanted more reductions in Canadian harvest. Presently, they are being forced legally by the Endangered Species Act to take significant domestic action, in particular on the heavily dammed Columbia River salmon stocks. This action already costs them over $800 million in fisheries mitigation programs per annum to maintain hydro production. More access to Canada’s share of the fish would reduce pressure on them to take further domestic action such as increasing water flows (reducing hydro production), further limiting U.S. terminal fisheries and investing in habitat restoration.

Costs of the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

“In Fiscal Year 2006, the Bonneville Power Administration incurred costs totalling $851.7 million to mitigate the impacts of hydropower dams on fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin. (Approx 90% are Fish related costs, 10% Wildlife)”

May 24, 2008 – Globe – Salmon Deal Sells Out Fishermen

Commercial fishermen in B.C. are being sold out for a pittance under a proposed Canada-U.S. settlement on Pacific salmon, angry trollers say.

“It’s absolutely shocking,” said Kathy Scarfo of the West Coast Trollers Association. “Here we have a Canadian natural resource, the U.S. needs it because, let’s face it, they have destroyed their habitat… so instead of paying the price, they are buying ours. And it’s a sweetheart deal.”

May 24, 2008 – Times Colonist – Deal Fatal to Fleet; Island Communities

The West Coast Vancouver Island troll fleet will be annihilated and small coastal communities irreparably damaged if Canada agrees to cut the Chinook salmon catch off the west coast of Vancouver Island by 30 percent, critics said yesterday.

May 24, 2008 – Nanaimo Daily News – B.C. Industry Slams U.S. Salmon Treaty

Fishermen, politicians and business owners said Friday the Island fleet is being asked to take the hit without adequate compensation or guarantees that stocks will be conserved once the fish reach Oregon and Washington.

May 23, 2008 – Seattle Times – Treaty Could Bring Salmon Home to Spawn

With fewer Chinook caught to the north “we might be able to maintain a skeleton fishery down here while wild [Chinook] stocks are recovering,” said Doug Fricke, president of the Washington Trollers Association.

Dale Kelley, of the Alaska Trollers association, said the cuts in Alaskan fishing were just a bargaining chip, traded so the Canadians would agree to less fishing off Vancouver Island.

But the real source of the salmon’s plight, she said, lies with habitat destruction in places such as Puget sound.

“The people that do not want to gin up political will to deal with that problem just got a free pass,” she said