Industry advised before 2-day B.C. fishery led to snagged nets: manager

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday

A busy two-day fishery in the waters off Nanaimo, B.C., has prompted a warning from Fisheries and Oceans Canada about the placement of nets that led to two ferries being snagged.

Andrew Thomson, regional director of fisheries management, responded Thursday after BC Ferries said two fishing nets had been caught by their ships and a vessel was also forced to stop when it almost made contact with a third net.

Thomson said Thursday the opening of the season that began Wednesday at 7 a.m. drew about 130 gillnet vessels, compared with 30 or 40 vessels that would typically show up.

He said that any further problems could prompt an early closure of the 13-hour-a-day fishery.

READ MORE: Nanaimo-bound ferry becomes tangled with fishing net

The opening is one of the few opportunities to fish for chum in the Strait of Georgia, Thomson said, adding the department has been advising the industry to steer clear of ferry lanes.

“I would say the compliance, as I understand it, is quite high but there is a large number of vessels and unfortunately some of the vessels are getting in the path (of ferries),” he said.

“If we cannot maintain a safe and orderly fishery we will take steps to close the fishery.”

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said the Queen of Oak Bay came into contact with a net near Nanaimo on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Queen of Alberni was travelling between the mainland and Duke Point, south of Nanaimo, when it caught a net near Entrance Island, she said.

Marshall said about 75 boats were taking part in a fisheries opening in the area and although the captain slowed the ferry to ensure safe passage, one net was poorly marked and became fouled in the ship’s propeller.

No one was hurt and the propeller was not damaged but Marshall said the small boat that set the net was towed backward by the ferry until the line between the boat and the net snapped.

The captain freed the remains of the net by reversing the ferry and the ship continued on about 20 minutes behind schedule, Marshall said, adding the lanes past Entrance Island are clearly marked.

“We appreciate that (fishing crews) have a job to do, they are trying to make a living, but do stay clear of the ferry,” she said.

Marshall said the Queen of Alberni also had a close call with another net and the ship had to be stopped.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hub International to close Bella Coola office March 28

Company says staff shortages to blame

Dry weather leads to historic low water levels in local rivers

The prolonged cold, coupled with the lack of precipitation, has contributed to the situation

Bella Coola businesses still eligible for Wildfire Business Transition Training Program

Small businesses are eligible to apply for reimbursement of training expenses up to $10,000

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read