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

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

School District 83 trustees are leaning towards an option in the school district’s Long Range Facilities Plan that favours making Salmon Arm Secondary’s Sullivan campus and Jackson campus (pictured) both Grade 9-12 schools. (Google maps image)
Letter: Two high school option for Salmon Arm will create ‘have, have not’ situation

Writer concerned with E5 option, says transparent talk about implications needed

Left, Elena Bruns (2015 Rapattack Junior recruit/current Rapattack staff) and Leah Nash (2019 Rapattack Junior recruit/current Rapattack staff) in a helicopter on the Eagle Bluff Fire, August 2019. (Kamloops Fire Centre photo)
Salmon Arm students stick with wildfire fighting after junior Rapattack program

Junior Fire Crew program partners with Salmon Arm Secondary, develops students’ love for job

Work began April 6, 2021 on the Trans-Canada Highway downtown corridor project to improve safety and traffic flow, which will see the traffic light at Ross Street relocated to Fourth Street NE. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
VIDEO: Traffic slow downs to go through May on Salmon Arm highway corridor

Ministry says night work not planned on Highway 1, single lanes to remain as traffic light changed

Genevieve Reynard dances as a video is recorded to be judged at a Kamloops-based dance festival. She earned first and second place honours in a variety of styles. (Shuswap Dance Center/Facebook)
Shuswap Dance Center dancers win big in Kamloops competition

Thirty-five young competitors place in top three in either solo or group number

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

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on Thursday, April 8. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

An East Hill resident had their leaf bags torched in front of their home overnight April 8. Less than two weeks prior their garbage can was lit on fire too. (Taryn Allen photo)
Garbage, leaf fires spark fear in North Okanagan

First an East Hill residents’ trash can, then bagged leaves were lit on fire

Okanagan-based All Are Family Outreach Society, which provides support to those struggling from Armstrong to Kelowna, is in need of a new headquarters after leaving a Winfield church in June 2020. (All Are Family Outreach photo)
Okanagan outreach society in ‘desperate’ need after storage unit break-in

All Are Family Outreach had $4,000 in tools stolen from its donation shipping container

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)
Three deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreak in Vernon hospital

Interior Health reports two additional deaths at VJH

Most Read