The Struggle for Lake Babine Nation`s Fishing Rights

Report
The Struggle for Lake Babine
Nation’s Fishing Rights
Current State of Lake Babine Nation’s
Sockeye Salmon Resource
If this sockeye represents all the
sockeye in Wild Babine streams in your
Father’s time
This is how much is left today
(about 25%).
How much will be left in your children’s
time?
Babine sockeye in the 1950’s was 75% Wild
Babine River
Bernann
Creek
Boucher
Creek
Donalds
Creek
Five Mile
Creek
Forks Creek
Four Mile
Creek
Hazelwood
Creek
Kew Creek
Tachet Creek
Tahlo Creek
Twain Creek
Morrison Creek
Nichyeskwa
River
Nilkitwa River
Naine Mile
Creek
Pendleton
Creek
Pierre Creek
Shass Creek
Six Mile Creek
Sockeye Creek
Sutherland
Creek
Telzato Creek
Tsezakwa
Creek
Wright Creek
Pinkut/Fulton
Babine River
Bernann
Creek
Boucher
Creek
Donalds
Creek
Five Mile
Creek
Forks Creek
Four Mile
Creek
Hazelwood
Creek
Kew Creek
Tachet Creek
Tahlo Creek
Twain Creek
Morrison Creek
Nichyeskwa
River
Nilkitwa River
Naine Mile
Creek
Pendleton
Creek
Pierre Creek
Shass Creek
Six Mile Creek
Sockeye Creek
Sutherland
Creek
Telzato Creek
Tsezakwa
Creek
Wright Creek
Today: 25% is Wild.
All LBN’s eggs are in the
Enhanced “basket”
Proportion of Non-Pinkut/Fulton
Sockeye in 1950’s and the amount left
today
1950-59
2000-09
Compared to your
Grandfather’s Time?
What is the Status of those
Wild Stocks that Remain?
Red says “danger: take immediate
action”; Amber – Caution; Green:
Healthy
Babine River
What is the impact of
overfishing wild populations?
• If enhanced populations fail; little left
• Wild Babine Lake stream ecosystems are
threatened
• Babine River sockeye were an important
source of Food fish
• DFO will not allow LBN to harvest
enhanced sockeye at Babine Fence
• Climate change and beetle kill may lead
to higher water temperatures and
disease outbreaks at Fulton and Pinkut
What has happened to LBN’s
Wild Sockeye Stocks?
Fish Produced in Pinkut/Fulton Channels
produce more offspring than Wild Babine
Sockeye
Sockeye from
Pinkut/Fulton Channels
Wild Sockeye from
other LBN Streams
Enhanced and Wild Sockeye Swim Together as
they enter the Skeena
Wild
Wild
If Commercial Fishery Catches 50% of the sockeye
swimming by: 3 Enhanced Sockeye, but only 1
Wild Sockeye Survive
The Coast Fishery Is Focused
on LBN’s sockeye Stocks
Run Timing of Wild Babine River
sockeye on coast
Last week of July on coast
Run-Timing of Enhanced Pinkut and Fulton
sockeye is similar to Wild Babine River
Sockeye
Run-Timing of Enhanced Babine Sockeye
Run Timing of Babine River Sockeye
Red is where wild Babine sockeye and enhanced sockeye
overlap on the coast. Coastal fisheries targeting enhanced
sockeye catch the less productive wild Babine River sockeye
Overlap between the Timing of
Enhanced Babine Sockeye and
Wild Babine River Sockeye
The black outline is when the
coastal fishery happens
This is what you would think the management
plan would look like on the coast: fishing
spread throughout the season
Max is 35%
But DFO wants to protect
early non-Babine sockeye
Max increases to 50%
And chums and steelhead
later in the season
Max. increases again to 60%
This is the result compared to
DFO’s Target if everything is
PERFECT
Run Size
Small
Medium
Large
Target
47%
47%
47%
Current Compare to
Fishery
Target
33%
46%
53%
UNDER
=
OVER
But things are far from perfect: Wild Babine
Sockeye are severely depressed, and at least
one is in the Red Zone and Requires a
Recovery Plan
Significant #’s of enhanced
returns and increased coastal fishing
Pressure begins here
What’s left
Many people believe target should be much
lower to protect and rebuild wild fish
Run Size
Small
Medium
Large
Target
33%
33%
33%
Current Compare to
Fishery
Target
33%
46%
53%
=
OVER
OVER
What is DFO Required to do when
salmon stocks are in the “red” zone?
Red says “danger: take immediate
action”; Amber – Caution; Green:
Healthy
Babine River
The Wild Salmon Policy Requires
that the Status of Salmon Stocks
be Identified
Stocks in the RED ZONE require
Recovery Plans
A Recovery Plan Requires
“The presence of a CU in the Red zone
will initiate an immediate
consideration of ways to protect the
fish, increase their abundance, and
reduce the potential risk of loss.
Biological considerations will be the
primary drivers for the management
of CUs with Red status”. WSP Policy
Next Steps
DFO Management impacts on LBN’s
Rights & Title, Sec. 35 Rights,
Commercial Rights, and Treaty Rights
• LBN’s sockeye resources severely overfished
• DFO’s management plan continues to
overfish LBN’s sockeye
• LBN’s future access to Food Fish is
threatened
• LBN cannot fish enhanced sockeye
commercially at the Babine Fence
• DFO may reduce LBN’s access to sockeye
for commercial harvest
• Only the coastal fishery has an allocation of
Babine Lake sockeye
What are DFO’s intentions?
• INCREASE coastal harvest rate
• Continue to overfish Babine River
sockeye
• Reduce LBN’s commercial fishing?
• Not allow LBN to harvest surplus fish
at Fence
• Not rebuild wild sockeye to historical
levels
Consultations and LBN’s “Free,
Prior, and Informed Consent”
• DFO has not directly consulted with the Lake
Babine Nation, nor sought their Free, Prior, and
Informed Consent (FPIC)
• FPIC Requires (as provided by AFN)
 LBN must have access to all relevant information – may
involve independent assessments
 May require a human rights impact assessment
 Must have the time and opportunity to reach an
informed conclusion based on their own forms of
decision-making
 Process must be free of intimidation, threat of
retaliation, or other forms of duress
Letter sent by Chief Adam to DFO
demanding “meaningful” consultations
Re: Request for Consultations
The Lake Babine Nation requests the opportunity to engage in meaningful consultations
with your Department on the four issues listed below. Each has the potential to impact our
Rights and Title, including our section 35 FSC fishery, our section 35 commercial fishery
and as well as our ESSR commercial fishery. We therefore require meaningful consultation
and accommodation prior to the proposed changes. The four issues are:
1. Proposed changes to the 2009 Harvest Rules recommended by the ISRP that would
increase exploitation rates on Babine sockeye;
2. DFO’s recognition that Babine River sockeye requires protection in the 2014 IFMP,
and whether those protections will be sufficient;
3. The development and implementation of a Recovery Plan for Babine River sockeye
as required by DFO’s Wild Salmon Policy; and
4. Proposed changes to DFO’s Allocation Framework.
While the issues are related in that they have the potential to impact the conservation,
and LBN’s access to, salmon stocks within LBN territory; each requires its own focused,
meaningful consultation.
The first two directly relate to the development and implementation of the 2014 fishing
plan, DFO has recently set a deadline of January 31st for submissions to the 2014 IFMP.
Technical discussions and consultations involving DFO and LBN staff should begin the
week of January 13, 2014. LBN is prepared to make its staff available for the time it will
take for these consultations.
LBN feels that it would be inappropriate for DFO to widely distribute a draft IFMP before
consultations on the first two issues are complete. For the reasons listed above, LBN is
requesting Nation-to-Nation consultations. Consultations with the Skeena Fisheries
Commission are inadequate and insufficient.
The third and fourth issues should initially focus on structure, format, participation,
funding, and timetable. Both will have impacts well beyond the 2014 season.
We are prepared to set aside the time, and expertise required to make these consultations
meaningful and successful. We look forward to meeting with your staff as soon as
possible.
Opportunities and
Challenges for LBN
1. LBN can design and insist upon a
“meaningful” consultation process
that:
a) provides sufficient time for LBN to
consider DFO’s arguments
b) obtain independent advice
c) consult internally
d) negotiate alternatives or
mitigation with DFO
Opportunities and
Challenges for LBN (cont’d)
2.Fight increase in coastal
harvest rates
3.Reduce harvest rates on
Babine River
4.Prepare Recovery Plan for
Babine River sockeye
Opportunities and
Challenges for LBN (cont’d)
5. Joint management of enhancement
facilities
6. Fight attempts by coastal FNs and
industry to reduce LBN’s commercial
fishery
7. LBN must be allowed to harvest
enhanced sockeye at Babine Fence
8. Develop joint management plan for
commercial fishing in Babine Lake
It is a tall order but possible if there
is the political will and resources
Potential sources of resources
and capacity
• Talok Fisheries Ltd: LBN’s commercial
fishing company
• SkeenaWild Conservation Trust
• DFO
Thank you to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Chief Adam
Fred William
Leonard Lawley
Donna Macintyre
Board of Director’s: Talok Fisheries Ltd.
Eamon Murphy: (LBN’s Lawyer)
Greg Knox: Skeena Wild Conservation Trust

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