The Heiltsuk Nation and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have reached an agreement for a 2016 Central Coast Herring Management Plan. The 2016 Herring Management Plan supports a 7% harvest rate, which will provide for a Heiltsuk FSC and SOK fishery (1725 tons)! This 7% harvest rate will also allow for a small commercial sac roe fishery for industry (215 tons). DFO has also agreed Spiller Channel will be a nogo zone for all sac roe fisheries in 2016! There will be a Heiltsuk observer on the DFO platform vessel. This management approach, based in part on science from Heiltsuk hired scientists, is significantly more cautious than past DFO management approaches. Since March 2015, a Herring Working Group and Technical Team comprised of DFO and Heiltsuk representatives have had several collaborative meetings to discuss the details of the 2016 Herring Management Plan. These meetings represent a significant shift in the relationship between Heiltsuk and DFO regarding herring management, especially toward DFO’s compliance with the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R v Gladstone. DFO has signalled to Heiltsuk that it is prepared to recognize our constitutionally protected role as manager, user, and steward of this important fishery. Moving forward, Heiltsuk and DFO have agreed to working collaboratively on a long-term, sustainable management strategy for Central Coast herring. HTC and HIRMD are committed to ensuring that all management plans will adequately sustain both the ecosystem and Heiltsuk fisheries for future generations. A more detailed newsletter will be available on the HIRMD website (www.hirmd.ca) and Bella Bella Facebook page by Wednesday, January 20th. Hard copies will also be available at the HIRMD Office.

For question, feel free to contact HIRMD: 250-957-2303 Ǧiáxsix̌ a


  1. This is certainly excellent news for sure and one component that I’d like our Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department develop to enhance our spawning grounds that have been greatly impacted by the commercial herring fishery since this resource was re-opened in the early 1970s is add in the type of work that the Sliammon Band has been doing with DFO funding is transplanting herring eggs on branches to affected areas to bring those lost spawning grounds our people once had in abundance; I’m sure Sliammon Band would share their work in this. We have plenty of vessels and experienced fishers to do this type of enhancement and as the idea is to re-plant herring eggs to a lost but previously productive herring spawning area any tree will do compared to just using the hemlock trees we use for consumption. Congrats to HTC and HIRMD and all the other people who have work on getting this gain and all the best in the additional work that still needs to be done.


  2. This is excellent news! Great work HIRMD and HTC. This demonstrates the effectiveness of our Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Mgmt Dept. It’s time for the appropriate HTC and HIRMD reps to manage and negotiate the Heiltsuk Herring Reconciliation file (R. V Germyn).


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