The legal access policies currently regulating B.C. fisheries are failing many fishermen and coastal communities. Based on a market-driven philosophy, access to our fisheries is being turned into an investor controlled commodity. This has increased licence and quota value far beyond what most fishermen and coastal communities can afford, leaving many to lease the right to harvest fish from our water, sometimes for up to 80 percent of the landed catch value. If prices drop during the fishing season, fishermen must bear the loss - with negative impacts on their entire coastal community. Several reports have been published regarding this issue:
- Addressing Questions on the Social and Economic Outcomes of an Individual Transferable Quota Fishery (November 2019)
- West Coast Fisheries:Sharing Risks and Benefits (May 2019)
- Just Transactions, Just Transitions: Towards Truly Sustainable Fisheries in British Columbia (Dec 2018)
- Fisheries for Communities Gathering, proceedings report (Feb 2018)
- Caught up in Catch Shares (Apr 2014)
- Understanding Values in Canada's North Pacific: Capturing Values from Commercial Fisheries
We also co-hosted the Fisheries for Communities Gathering 2.0 to advocate for policy change on this issue.
Jim McIsaac leads our work in this area. Please contact him for more information.