The commercial fishery for Chinook salmon will open tonight at 6pm despite local opposition and requests for a closure. The notice, which was posted on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s website close to 5pm on June 12, outlines specific protocols that fishers must observe due to COVID-19.
These include not fishing outside of the revised boundary which is six miles west of Bella Coola at Coffee Creek. Fishers are also not permitted to enter the Bella Coola Harbour which is currently closed to non-resident vessels.
Last Monday, June 8, a delegation of Nuxalk hereditary leaders held a protest outside of the local Fisheries and Oceans office, stating that they believed the opening was unwise due to the current pandemic and placed more pressure on already low salmon stocks.
More to come.