Unwanted Salmon Are Needlessly Killed

As a lighthouse keeper I was interested in fishing, and sometimes paused to watch the seine fishermen catch fish.

I retired twelve (12) years ago, and even at that time the practices in the following video were allowed by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Well, maybe not allowed, but never monitored. I was appalled at the time, of the number of fish that fell injured through the large seine nets. I could not even make use them as they were so injured that they sunk rapidly to the bottom of the ocean.

Please watch and be dismayed. This takes place in Fisheries Area 6 – my lighthouse was in Fisheries Area 7. The following map shows the Fisheries Areas on the BC Coast.

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New evidence shows thousands of unwanted salmon are needlessly killed when no one is watching the fishermen: Groups want oversight

August 15th 2013 Continue reading

Oops! What Happened to the Water?

A few days ago I posted an article on the lightkeepers being the eyes and ears of the BC coast. While writing it an incident was brought to my mind of my early days in 1977 on McInnes Island. We arrived on McInnes in August 1977 so this had to have happened in Spring 1978.

Every year on the British Columbia coast the herring start their spawn in early spring. We, being curious lighthouse keepers are always interested in the goings on in the sea, from the arrival of the salmon to the arrival of winter storms. We always had our eyes out for something happening.

Well, one of the things we had been warned about was pollution. One morning I awoke and the ocean around the lighthouse as far away as Price Island, two kilometers away, was a milky white as though lime had been dumped in the ocean. Nowhere could I see blue sea except distantly in front of the lighthouse.

white water – photo Flickr by poecile05

I was astounded! What had happened? I had no idea. Last night everything was normal; today, total chaos!

I phoned Coast Guard Radio in Bull Harbour and reported this accident, not knowing what it was or how to describe it. The operator said he would pass it on to the Coast Guard. 

That was it? The ocean was polluted! I could not see a foot into the water! That was all they were going to do? Continue reading