Responsible fishing practices are being incorporated into fisheries around the world, including the BC salmon fishery. The BC salmon fishery’s move towards more responsible fishing is supported by both international and Canadian agreements and laws. Other initiatives, such as Marine Stewardship Council certification, also promote responsible fishing practices. Nevertheless, several constraints keep the BC salmon fishery from fully implementing responsible fishing practices. Four factors that constrain the fishery are mixed-stock harvesting, competition within the commercial fishery, economic conditions, and compliance and enforcement. One mechanism that can help to address several of these factors is the use of selective fishing practices. Selective fishing can be applied to all sectors of the commercial fishery, including purse seining, gill netting, and troll fishing, as well as to First Nations’ and recreational fisheries. To date, several fisheries along the BC coast have successfully incorporated elements of responsible fishing into their practices. Examples are the Skeena River Fishery, the Fraser River Fishery, the Area F Troll Fishery, and the West Coast Vancouver Island Recreational Fishery. These examples show how the BC salmon fishery has begun to transform into a responsible fishery. However, more work can be done by governments and by the industry to promote responsible fishing through measures that motivate change within the salmon fishery, encourage conservation, advance training and education, increase stock assessment, and support joint decision-making.
–Excerpt from the report