Originally Published by Peace Arch News, July 19, 2016
By Dan Ferguson, The Langley Times
A lawsuit that aims to shut down sport fishing for chinook salmon bound for the Fraser River has been launched by a group that includes Langley-area First Nations.
The Katzie, Kwantlen and Seabird Island First Nations are mounting a legal challenge of the way the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) manages spring chinook salmon on the Fraser.
The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Vancouver on Friday (July 15).
The three Fraser River First Nations are asking for an order that halts sport fishing off the coast of Vancouver Island because, they say, the recreational anglers there are taking too much from the spring chinook stocks that are heading for the Fraser River.
They issued a joint statement Tuesday that said DNA analysis of scale samples collected from fish caught in the marine sports fishery show chinook are being caught in “substantial” numbers.
“Analysis also shows that more are being killed after being caught and then released” the statement said.
The statement went on to say the decision to take court action was made after Chief Robert Gladstone of the Shxwha:y Village near Chilliwack was charged with taking one fish from the Fraser River for a traditional ceremony in March 2015.
Chief Susan Miller of the Katzie First Nation said DFO is giving priority to sports fishermen over First Nations.
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Photo courtesy of Peace Arch News.