Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. File photo, Pacific Wild

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. File photo, Pacific Wild

VIDEO: DFO investigates alleged illegal dump of herring in Deep Bay

Herring fisherman says dump is normal practice

A conservation group says a boat illegally dumped a load of herring in Deep Bay, but a career commercial herring fisherman says the alleged dump is par for the course.

On March 19, Conservancy Hornby Island responded to an anonymous tip that a commercial fishing vessel had dumped its load of herring after the packing vessel refused the catch, covering the sea floor beside the government dock in Deep Bay.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) said it is investigating the alleged dumping incident.

Locky MacLean of Conservancy Hornby Island says the incident is further evidence that the herring fishery is “wasteful and unsustainable,” and needs to be shut down.

“Possibly the fish were either spawned out or they were too young, and the roe not large enough for the market,” CHI chair Grant Scott said in a news release. “It is wasteful to the marine environment and the fishing industry itself.”

According to herring fisherman Thomas Sewid, however, the number of dead fish is a normal accumulation due to fishers cleaning boats, and from seiners cleaning their nets at the dock, which is a loading zone where boats do their cleaning.

“My opinions are unbiased. I’m coming from a commercial fishing background, from a DFO background (his father is a retired DFO biological technician)…so I’m protecting the environment,” said Sewid, who is the president of Pacific Balance Marine Management. “The science is in. They predicted 20 per cent of the biomass they were allowed to catch; 111,000 tonnes so far has been recorded that have come to the Gulf of Georgia. So in fact, they took far less than 20 per cent of the biomass in the Gulf of Georgia. It’s a sustainable fishery. We should be proud of the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans.”

Since the investigation is ongoing, DFO says it does not have specific details to share at this time.

ALSO: Judge rejects North Island First Nation’s herring fishery injunction request

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Nelson dancers Glynis Waring, Slava Doval and Amanda Papailhou, and musician Nella Banner, premier Respired on April 11. Photo: Submitted
New dance work the latest online offering from Capitol Theatre

Local performers will unveil Respired beginning April 11

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read