By Kim Nursall
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has launched an investigation after an online video surfaced recently that allegedly showed the harmful release of salmon back into the wild from boat decks.
The video was filmed during a pink-salmon fishery just south of Kitimat, B.C., on the province's North Coast, and appears to show other species of salmon lying unsorted on boat decks for as long as six minutes before being tossed or kicked off the side.
North Coast area director Mel Kotyk called the images disturbing and questioned whether fishing vessels are "acting in accordance with their license."
"Under the Fisheries Act (non-targeted fish) must be returned the ocean in the quickest and least harmful manner possible," he said, adding the department has requested the raw footage from the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, the environmental advocacy group that posted the video last week.
A spokesman for the Canadian Fishing Company, which is owned by the Jim Pattison Group, welcomed the investigation.
"We have taken strong action in terms of re-instructing our fleet in how to properly care for fish that are released into the water," said company spokesman Rob Morley. "We continue to believe that the majority of the fleet are doing a good job. We certainly don't want to see poor practices."
Morley said improving the industry is always a goal. More....