Okay, before you hammer me let`s go over some facts, as a long-time fisher on the west coast I can tell you first hand that the population of west coast seals has sky-rocketed, at the same time our B.C. wild Salmon are in serious trouble, there aren`t that many big salmon runs left in B.C. ......But, areas where there are large Salmon runs there is also many sea lions, and....Here`s the deal with Sea Lions, they`re pigs, they eat lots of Salmon and they`re picky, what I mean by picky is this, when Salmon are abundant Sea Lions only eat the bellies of Salmon, that`s where all the heavy Salmon fat is, so a large 1000 pound plus Sea Lion can eat hundreds of Salmon bellies in short order.
Also, I`m sure your curious, why has the Sea Lion population sky-rocketed? Well, there are several reasons, the first one is........Our B.C. commercial fishery is all but dead, in years past when we had a large commercial fishing industry at the beginning of the season the fishermen would kill many seals, no commercial fishers no Seal kill, but the other big reason is this, Sea Lions have no natural enemies, they are at the top of the food chain,only one predator can get Sea Lions.....And that predator is the Killer Whale, also known as the Orca, and unfortunately these magnificent Sea Creatures are in decline, they too are starved for salmon.Orca can and do eat Sea Lions but the whales have to get lucky and trick or trap them in isolated bays or coves but for the most part,Salmon is the mainstay of the Orca`s diet.
So, back to the win win win scenario, with a limited First Nation Seal Harvest.
- There would be economic benefits to the Haida/Haisla and other First Nations, Sea Lions on average are worth anywhere from 1000,00$ to over 5000,00$ per animal.
- There is no waste, from the rich oils, the lean Seal meat right down to the flippers there is absolutely ZERO Waste, they use every bit of the Seal.
- A West Coast Seal Harvest would not only benefit the Wild Salmon population it would also benefit our British Columbia Whales, The Orca, The Symbol of B.C. is known around the world, there are not enough Orca to make a dent in the Sea Lion population, and Salmon are much easier for the Orca to catch.
- Start up cost wouldn`t be that much, Chief Roy Jones Junior is talking about a mobile processing ship, the advantage of that is......They could move from area to area and only take out as many seals without depleting the brood stock.
- The Haida/Haisla First Nation are more than aware that the key to this operation is sustainability, for if the Haida/Haisla Nation over fished the Seal population this upstart industry would die before it even got started.
- This is not clubbing baby seals on ice floes, we have no sea ice,this is a completley different fishery.
- There is a big market in Japan and other over sea countries, high end seal products, this is an excellent opportunity for a small scale industry that could be directed towards First Nations and First Nations only.
The value to the community is employment opportunities for harvesting & processing the seal products and if the community is setup for finishing the Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid it would have many spin off opportunities that would create employment for up to 30 people year around. The other opportunities would involve working with many natural resources such as herbs, plants for cosmetic’s & essential oils that are available in many areas on the Pacific coastal forest.
Here is a good read about all the damage Sea Lions are doing and how many Salmon they are eating, large groups of overstuffed Sea Lions hanging around dams gobbling up Steelhead and other fin fish by the thousands, these Sea Lions have learned where and when dinner is being served,these are spawning fish,they can`t flee or wait until the predators leave. (read about it here) http://www.cbbulletin.com/364178.aspx
And a good read here about how healthy the Sea Lion Population is, hundreds of thousand of large salmon eating Sea Lions,again I would like to re-iterate that if we had salmon runs even close to to the historic runs from only a few years back these measures wouldn`t be required!http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Seals-and-Sea-Lions/upload/CR-Pinniped-FS.pdf
Anyways, I think it`s an excellent idea, maybe at one time time we could have left the Sea Lion population alone, but, unfortunately Mother nature is out of order, because of all the destruction and Salmon loss caused by Fish farms, because of a far too small population of Orca/Killer Whales, because of these reasons we can`t support a massive Sea Lion population on the West Coast, the population is far too large, if we still had Salmon spawning in every Creek,river and stream the population of Sea Lions would be okay, but like I say, I`m a realist...
The link below is a thorough report done by Army corp group of engineers on Salmonoid predation at Bonneville Dam, a good read.http://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/tmt/documents/fish/05-07_Pinniped_Report_Final.pdf
Chief Roy Jones Junior is a realist, he knows what sustainability means, his people,his Nation can`t depend on a Salmon fishery for an economic future, and as for forestry, well Gordon Campbell has decimated Forestry in our Province, Chief Roy Jones junior like myself believes in a limited small scale mobile West Coast Sea Lion fishery, a win win and win. A win for a struggling Wild Salmon, a win for the declining Orca and a win for the Haida/Haisla Nation.
On the Sunshine coast the seals are everywhere, never in 40 years of fishing have I seen so many seals and Sea Lions, and it`s not just here, there are tens of thousands in Nanaimo, Egmont, Bamfield, Port Alberni Canal, and with very few salmon runs these Sea Lions congregate where the Salmon are. All through our coastal waters the population of Sea Lions is too large, in fact even around our toxic fish farms Sea Lions congregate,often breaking into and ruining the netting holding farmed fish, resulting in many UNREPORTED Alien Farmed Fish escapements, yea I know they look cute but with the lack of fish, eventually when the Salmon and fish are gone so too will the Sea Lions die, so in reality, a limited West Coast First Nation`s Sea Lion Harvest is good for the Sea Lion.
And Chief Roy Jones Junior swears by the medicinal benefits of Seal products, I am not as versed in all the uses for seal products, certainly it`s kept the Haida/Haisla and other First Nations peoples healthy for centuries, but I swear by Omega III fatty acids, I consider wild Salmon as brain food, and it`s good for the skin, memory, endurance, I`m getting a hankering for a piece of Salmon just writing this,anyways, the medicinal benfits are many.
Everything in British Columbia and Haida Gwaii revolves around the salmon, the bears with a salmon extinction will too die off on the coast, the eagles depend on Salmon, Salmon nitrogen is in the trees in our rain forests,not to mention the staggering tourism money that can be generated in bear watching,eagle watching,whale watching tours, Salmon charters in Haida Gwaii, boat rentals,fishing trips, we as British Columbians can really profit from a Super Natural British Columbia,tourism, not tourism to the River Rock casino or tourism to the sinking speed skating oval but a vibrant tourism industry that helps out all corners of B.C....Not just the center of the universe Vancouver....And my friends.
What the Habitual liar Gordon Campbell doesn`t understand, it all depends on the salmon, so for those reasons, the removal of water based fish farms and a sustainable Sea Lion harvest are the direction we must go.(Anyone needing to get a hold of or contact Chief Roy Jones Junior, leave a comment and contact address)
The Straight Goods
Cheers-Eyes Wide Open