Gill nets are the most widely used and implemented salmon harvesting tool on the Fraser River by First Nations and commercial fishermen;
Sturgeon are frequently and negatively impacted by the non selective nature of gill nets, succumbing to significant physical damage and regular mortality;
Fully attended nets provide effective and expeditious release, unharmed, of salmon stocks of concern and sturgeon; and
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans promotes gill net use for salmon harvesting and does not provide nor endorse any alternative salmon harvesting techniques, when at this time, environmentally acceptable and sustainable fish harvesting technologies are a necessity for mixed stock salmon fisheries and to reduce sturgeon encounters and subsequent mortalities.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Encourage, implement and promote alternative sustainable salmon harvesting techniques that will reduce impact on salmon stocks of concern, and reduce and eliminate sturgeon by-catch and their subsequent physical damage and mortality;
2. Provide funding to research and implement sustainable fish harvesting technologies, such as fish wheels, fish traps, and fish-safe seines;
3. Adopt policies and regulations that require gill nets to be fully attended and monitored during entire gill net soak time, while this transition phase of implementation will take time; and
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