Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl/Submitted

Chilliwack/Mission – Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl introduced a Private Members’ Bill that, if adopted, would provide more opportunities for selective fisheries in Chilliwack—Hope and across the country.

Bill C-297, the Selective Fisheries Act, would provide the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with new tools to protect vulnerable wild fish stocks on the Fraser River, while at the same time allowing for selective fisheries targeting specific species of fish that have strong stocks.

The bill was seconded by Brad Vis, Member of Parliament for the neighbouring riding of Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad Vis – Screenshot

If passed, the bill would amend the Fisheries Act to authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to establish selective fishing programs to allow for the conservation of any species of fish that is at risk of overexploitation and to promote the fishing of species of which there are healthy stocks.

The bill would also give the Minister the authority to mandate the marking of current hatchery fish stock by means such as adipose fin clipping. Marking fish in this way allows fishers to target and retain hatchery raised fish within proscribed limits, while practicing catch and release with wild salmon.

It is rare that private members bills make their way into law.

“Local anglers are understandably frustrated whenever recreational fishing in the Fraser River is completely shut down, even as healthy stocks of salmon swim by,” concluded MP Strahl. “It’s time for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to be given the power to establish selective fisheries, to provide a fair and equitable path forward for recreational fishing. I’m calling on all Members of Parliament to support my Bill and support responsible selective fishing opportunities on the Fraser River and across Canada.”

Watch the video of MP Strahl introducing Bill C-297 on his Facebook Page here.

Read the full text of the Bill here.

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