VANCOUVER, B.C. — Vancouver’s fish supply is dwindling, and the city’s fishery managers say they’re seeing more problems with the problem.
The province says the City of Vancouver has been on track to meet its goals of cutting its fishery supply by about 50 per cent by 2020.
But the city says it needs to cut the number of fish in its lakes and rivers by 25 per cent and by 60 per cent to meet that goal.
“We’ve had a decline in fish, and we’re seeing an increase in fish stocks in the lake and rivers,” said Jim McClean, a fisheries management officer for the city.
“So it’s very concerning.
I don’t think it’s good for the fish that we’re trying to supply.”
The province’s fisheries agency says it has received over 100 reports of the decline in the city of Vancouver’s fishers over the past two years.
“Fisheries are under-conserved, over-fished and under-managed,” said Peter Jaffe, the city fisheries manager.
“The challenge we’re facing right now is that we don’t have the capacity to maintain what we’re producing.”
Fish stocks are critical to Vancouver’s economy, McClean said, and that is why it is so important to maintain the fish stocks.
The city says the decline is not a new problem.
In 2007, there were 8,000 fewer fish in Vancouver’s lakes and river than there were a decade earlier.
But now that numbers have rebounded, the decline has been compounded by the decline of fish-rich fish stocks, the province said.
In a new report, Fisheries Canada said the decline accelerated in the first quarter of this year, with the total number of fishery-owned fish in the Vancouver system dropping by 33 per cent.
“Fish stocks have been declining since 2007 and we have had a number of reports of fish stocks having dropped below sustainable levels,” said Jaffe.
“That has been a significant factor in the decline, which we’ve seen in all areas of the city.”
The fish in lakes and waters are critical, because they are used to supply fish markets and to supply feed to commercial fishermen, Jaffe said.
“These fish are very important to the local economies, so it’s really important that we continue to supply these fish for the food supply, for the local fishery,” he said.
Jaffe said the city has started to find ways to improve the fishery management system.
For example, the mayor’s office has set up a website that provides information on fish-related programs in the downtown core, such as the city-owned Fish and Game Club.
In addition, the fishers have begun to use more local and sustainable fisheries, like the use of sustainable fishing methods.
But it is not enough, he said, because fish stocks are vital to the city economy.
“It’s really hard to get the city to stop the decline,” Jaffe told CBC News.
“Because we’ve been able to produce enough fish for a certain amount of time, that we’ve had enough to feed our people, but we haven’t been able maintain our fishery.”
Our fish stocks have declined so much that there’s no fish left for our food.
“McCall said there are ways to restore fish stocks that are in place.
For instance, he is proposing a pilot project that would allow the city and other municipalities to purchase a fish that is not already there.
But for now, the fish is being sold for $2 a pound.
McCall says the city is taking the fish problem seriously, and is trying to make sure it is handled as seriously as possible.”
In a statement, the provincial fisheries agency said that, while the provincial government’s goal of reducing fishery production to the required target has been met, there are other reasons why the city may not have enough fish to meet the targets.””
We have a great fishery and we don, we need to maintain that, and it’s not just about fish.”
In a statement, the provincial fisheries agency said that, while the provincial government’s goal of reducing fishery production to the required target has been met, there are other reasons why the city may not have enough fish to meet the targets.
“At this time, we are working to ensure the city can meet its objectives and has the capacity it needs, including by investing in sustainable fishing and management practices,” the statement said.