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The 2015 House of Assembly directed the Council of the Haida Nation to maintain a closure of the commercial herring fishery in Haida territorial waters in 2016 to allow time to address the long-term management and conservation of herring stocks.Following the directive from citizens of the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in consultation with technical staff and other groups, gave notice this December that the fishery would be closed in 2016. This closure does not affect the traditional roe-on-kelp fishery.

Based on science information and pre-season consultations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is proposing a balanced, precautionary approach to harvest planning for 2015/16 while a broader renewal of the management framework is underway. [ … ] Under the historic assessment methodology, both the West Coast of Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii are below commercial fishery cutoffs and are closed to commercial fisheries for 2015/16,” the Fisheries and Oceans’ letter says.

The Haida Nation is pleased to see that the new federal government is looking at herring stocks in a way that is closer to our understanding of how the natural world works,” said kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation. “Their new perspective is refreshing and we hope to see it applied to other fisheries and in our government-to-government negotiations.” The 2016 closure follows on the 2014 closure when the Haida Nation negotiated directly with industry to ensure there was no commercial harvest, and in 2015 fishery the nation took to the courts winning an injunction to stop the fishery based on the need for a long term management strategy and to give stocks time to rebuild.

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