Encourage a Moratorium on Surf Smelt fishing on Vancouver’s Beaches
Forage fish such as surf smelts, oolichans and herring are essential parts of the food chain. They are “forage” for the larger fish such as salmon. Our salmon runs are collapsing in part because the same negative influences on the bigger fish such as pollution, climate change and overfishing are also affecting the smaller forage fish.
Since the numbers of forage fish are now so low, we need to create a moratorium on their capture locally. The beaches and the waters that surround them are the federal jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. At present there is a large allowance for the capture of forage fish on our shores. The stores are sufficiently stocked with forage fish such as sardines and herring from the deep ocean and these appear to be sustainable fisheries for the time being. It’s time to stop the capture of our local wild fish.
Our Municipality should encourage the DFO and Metro Vancouver to set a moratorium on local forage fish capture and set an example for other municipalities in the region.