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The Struggle for Lake Babine Nation’s Fishing Rights.

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Presentation on theme: "The Struggle for Lake Babine Nation’s Fishing Rights."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Struggle for Lake Babine Nation’s Fishing Rights

2 Current State of Lake Babine Nation’s Sockeye Salmon Resource

3 If this sockeye represents all the sockeye in Wild Babine streams in your Father’s time

4 This is how much is left today (about 25%). How much will be left in your children’s time?

5 Pinkut/Fulton Babine sockeye in the 1950’s was 75% Wild

6 Today: 25% is Wild. All LBN’s eggs are in the Enhanced “basket”

7 Proportion of Non-Pinkut/Fulton Sockeye in 1950’s and the amount left today 1950-592000-09

8 Compared to your Grandfather’s Time?

9 What is the Status of those Wild Stocks that Remain?

10 Red says “danger: take immediate action”; Amber – Caution; Green: Healthy Babine River

11 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

12 What has happened to LBN’s Wild Sockeye Stocks?

13 Fish Produced in Pinkut/Fulton Channels produce more offspring than Wild Babine Sockeye Sockeye from Pinkut/Fulton Channels Wild Sockeye from other LBN Streams

14 Enhanced and Wild Sockeye Swim Together as they enter the Skeena Wild

15 If Commercial Fishery Catches 50% of the sockeye swimming by: 3 Enhanced Sockeye, but only 1 Wild Sockeye Survive

16 The Coast Fishery Is Focused on LBN’s sockeye Stocks

17 Run Timing of Wild Babine River sockeye on coast Last week of July on coast

18 Run-Timing of Enhanced Pinkut and Fulton sockeye is similar to Wild Babine River Sockeye Run Timing of Babine River Sockeye Run-Timing of Enhanced Babine Sockeye

19 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

20 The black outline is when the coastal fishery happens

21 This is what you would think the management plan would look like on the coast: fishing spread throughout the season Max is 35%

22 But DFO wants to protect early non-Babine sockeye Max increases to 50%

23 And chums and steelhead later in the season Max. increases again to 60%

24 This is the result compared to DFO’s Target if everything is PERFECT Run SizeTarget Current Fishery Compare to Target Small47%33% UNDER Medium47%46% = Large47%53% OVER

25 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

26 Many people believe target should be much lower to protect and rebuild wild fish Run SizeTarget Current Fishery Compare to Target Small33% = Medium33%46% OVER Large33%53% OVER

27 What is DFO Required to do when salmon stocks are in the “red” zone?

28 Red says “danger: take immediate action”; Amber – Caution; Green: Healthy Babine River

29 The Wild Salmon Policy Requires that the Status of Salmon Stocks be Identified Stocks in the RED ZONE require Recovery Plans

30 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

31 Next Steps

32 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

33 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

34 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

35 Letter sent by Chief Adam to DFO demanding “meaningful” consultations

36 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

37 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

38 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 Opportunities and Challenges for LBN (cont’d)

39 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

40 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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