Fisherman's Union says DFO can't manage its finances

Lighthouses on the chopping block as a result

11/17/2010

The representative of the Fisherman's Union in Prince Rupert says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' decision to destaff west-coast lighthouses is another example of mismanagement within the organization. Joy Thorkelson says destaffing vital manned lighthouses along the North Coast isn't worth the savings or the safety risks involved.

"They {DFO}  just added  a staff member to just decide how to drive I.T.Q's further into the heart of the gill net fishery and to put the last lid on the seine fishery and our seine deckhands from Canadian Fish got paid 80 cents a pound because of the quota last year on Sockeye Salmon on the Fraser River," said Thorkelson
 
She adds "You know why is the department cutting lighthouse keepers and then adding somebody so that they can create and ITQ system that's just going to rip off working class fisherman? And you know that salary position is probably worth 120-thousand dollars a year...well that's going to save all the lighthouse keepers in the North Coast. So you got quotas to reduce the number of fisherman, to bankrupt our communities, to put heavy debt-loads on working fisherman or you could have lighthouse keepers. Let's just decide which one we want and get rid of the DFO'S drive to have economists and everybody else telling us that Fisherman's reform, ITQ's are the way to go and let's keep the money that they save there and give it to the lighthouses and keep the lighthouse program intact on the Coast."