The Heiltsuk First Nation on B.C.’s Central Coast wants the sac roe herring fishery in their territory closed for conservation reasons. But Fisheries and Oceans Canada opened the fishery March 22 despite concerns. Heiltsuk said the move violates their constitutional rights.
“This action shows blatant disrespect of Aboriginal rights by DFO and industry,” said Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett. And many have accused DFO of sly dealing, opening the seine fishery at 5 p.m. and only notifying the Heiltsuk a half-hour after the fishery had been opened.
“DFO provided inconsistent and misleading communications throughout the day and did not attempt meaningful consultation,” said Slett. Heiltsuk vowed to shut down the gillnet fishery by placing lines in the way of fishers.