In February, five member nations under the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council filed for an injunction against DFO, opposing the proposed reopening of commercial herring fisheries in three areas on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
In granting the injunction, the Federal Court of Canada found that DFO had been “fudging numbers” and made a decision that was “not science-based”. In fact, DFO’s own experts agreed that all three of the fishing areas should not be opened as stocks were still low and safe harvesting could not be achieved. Despite this, the Fisheries Minister proceeded to open the fisheries.
In responding to the decision, the DFO’s office stated: “[t]he decision to re-open the herring fishery in these three areas was based on solid fisheries science”. Evidently, not the DFO’s own science, however.
No decision has yet been made by DFO as to the next steps it will take. For media reporting and coverage on the decision, see here.
By James Early.