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News Items of Interest

2014 Annual General Meeting April 18

The 2014 Gulf Trollers Association Annual General Meeting will be held 0900 on Friday April 18, at the Dorchester Hotel, 70 Church Street, in Nanaimo. All members are urged to attend for a season preview and news affecting the salmon troll fishery.

See the AGM agenda for more details. GTA AGM Agenda.


Gulf Trollers Association Listserve

GTA members, all Area H licence holders, and anyone who has an interest in issues affecting Area H are welcome to join the GTA Listserve. Interested fishers and stakeholders can sign up at: gulftrollers.com/mailman/listinfo/listserve_gulftrollers.com.

New registrants will receive confirmation and welcome emails and have the option to unsubscribe should they choose. The address for GTA list members to sent posts to is .

The list is not restricted to Gulf Trollers members - anyone interested in contributing to Area H discussions is welcome to join, so sign up and let your two bits worth be heard!


Area H Allocation Forms and Instructions

FOC has sent out a package of instructions and ITQ allocation forms for Area H and B fisheries.

Included in the package:

  • 2013 Pink reallocation form Aug 8 2013

  • 2013 FR sockeye reallocation form Aug 8 2013

  • HAILCARD2013 Aug 8 2013

  • 2013 transhipping form Aug 8 2013

  • 2013 ATH Designation Aug 8 2013

  • Guidelines Areas BH ITQ Aug 8 2013

Download the package here: Allocation Forms.


Gulf Trollers Association Annual General Meeting June 4

The Gulf Trollers Association Annual General Meeting will be held 1230 on Tuesday June 4, at the Dorchester Hotel, 70 Church Street, in Nanaimo. All members are urged to attend for a preview of the coming season and discussion of issues facing the salmon troll fishery.

See the AGM agenda for more details. GTA AGM Agenda.


Gulf Trollers Association Hosts New Area G Listserve

In an attempt to facilitate discussion of area specific salmon fishing issues, the GTA has added a new Listserve for Area G discussion. Like the Gulf Trollers list service, this is a private list so it requires enrollment. Interested fishers and stakeholders can sign up at: bcwildsalmonproducers.com/mailman/listinfo/areag_bcwildsalmonproducers.com.

New registrants will receive confirmation and welcome emails and have the option to unsubscribe should they choose. The address for Area G list members to sent posts to is .

The list is not restricted to Area G license holders - anyone interested in contributing to Area G discussions is welcome to join, so sign up and let your two bits worth be heard!


More Associate Members Join the Gulf Trollers Association

New Associate Members have joined the GTA in recent weeks. If you sell fish to or do business with someone you think should be a GTA Associate member ask them to join.

The GTA would like to say thanks and welcome onboard to all our Associate Members.


New Area Harvest Committee Members

Nominations have closed for the 2012 AHC elections, and with 6 vacancies the 4 Area H nominees have been declared elected by acclamation.

Congratulations to your new and returning AHC members!

  • Steve Lewis

  • Peter Sakich

  • Dane Chauvel

  • Tom Forge


Associate Members Join the Gulf Trollers Association

At the recent 2012 GTA Annual General Meeting, the members endorsed a proposal to encourage salmon buyers and processors to take up associate membership in the GTA. In doing so, these companies would demonstrate support for the fishermen with whom, in many cases, they have had a long working relationship.

Associate Membership Dues will help to continue the funding necessary for GTA participation in the B.C. Seafood Alliance, of which the GTA is the sole member organization representing the entire commercial salmon fishery. In addition, the GTA has a record of providing significant financial contributions to industry initiatives, the most recent of which involves seeking a satisfactory resolution to the recently announced commercial and sport halibut allocation issue.

The GTA would like to say thanks and welcome onboard to our new Associate Members!


CSAB Area Harvest Committee Elections Coming Up

This fall the Commercial Salmon Advisory Board will hold elections for the Area Harvest Committee members. There are six spots available on the Area H Harvest Committee and the call for nominations has gone out.

Area H licence holders are encouraged to submit their nominations now. The deadline for nominations is 1600 on October 5th. Ballots will be sent out by DFO October 15 and must be received by November 15. Use the following links to get instructions for nominations, lists of harvest committee members and those whose term is expiring, and the forms to use.


Associate Memberships are now being promoted by the GTA

At the recent 2012 GTA Annual General meeting, the members endorsed a proposal to encourage salmon buyers and processors to take up associate membership in the GTA. In doing so, these companies would demonstrate support for the fishermen with whom, in many cases, they have had a long working relationship. In addition, membership would allow the companies a participation in the advisory process through the GTA.

Associate Members support will help to continue the funding necessary for GTA participation in the B.C. Seafood Alliance, of which the GTA is the sole member organization representing the entire commercial salmon fishery. In addition, the GTA has a record of providing significant financial contributions to industry initiatives, the most recent of which involves seeking a satisfactory resolution to the recently announced commercial and sport halibut allocation issue.

The cost of Associate Membership is $250 per year and, in addition to the benefits outlined above, will afford Associate Members an endorsement on the GTA web site in which Area H fishermen are encouraged to support Associate Members. Associate Members will also receive GTA reports and newsletters and be invited to participate in GTA meetings as non-voting members. An Associate Membership application form can be found here.

This form and an updated membership form can be found on the Links page.


Transport Canada Certification Sessions

The PCF Mutual Marine Insurance Company is facilitating some voluntary Transport Canada Certification sessions in conjunction with their 2012 District Meetings in Sointula, Comox, Duncan and Prince Rupert. The sessions are open to all commercial fishermen - not just Mutual members. For more information


Area Harvest Committee Nominations

The AHC nominations are final and there will be an election in Area H. You can find the list of candidates who will be vying for your vote on the DFO web site.


Chum ITQ Guidelines and Information

FOC has released information and guidelines for the Area H Chum fishery.


August 26 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The August 26 announcement can be found here.


August 19 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The August 19 announcement can be found here.


Area H Opens to Sockeye Fishing

Get the DFO announcement here.


August 12 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The August 12 announcement can be found here.


August 5 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The August 5 announcement can be found here.


July 29 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The July 29 announcement can be found here.


July 22 PSC Fraser Panel Announcement

The July 22 announcement can be found here.


First PSC Fraser Panel Announcement of 2011 Released

The Pacific Salmon Commission has begun releasing the weekly Fraser Panel Announcements. These will be posted as available on this page. You can find the first announcement for 2011 here. This first release of the season contains additional information not included in subsequent weekly summaries and is recommended reading for those who follow the sockeye and pink salmon migrations closely.


2011 Fishery Planning Meetings Begin

Mike Griswold and Peter Sakich have recently attended two meetings that have a direct bearing on the 2011 Area H fishery - the annual industry salmon allocation meeting and a Fraser Panel fishery modeling session.

Mike's report on the discussions can be found here.


March IHPC Notes

The Integrated Harvest Planning Committee met last week with Peter Sakich and Lawrence Paulson in attendance representing trollers. Ryan McEachern took extensive notes at the meeting and has generously agreed to let us distribute these for the benefit of GTA members and interested trollers.

You can find Ryan's transcript of the proceedings here.


Donate to the GTA Legal Fund

A group of Area G fishermen launched a legal action challenging the spending program of the USD$30 million Mitigation Program with the objective of having the proceeds paid only to Area G licence holders. The courts determined that the spending program was well within the discretion afforded the Minister under the law and the Pacific Salmon Treaty and that the Mitigation Program should proceed as proposed.

This will see USD$1 million invested in the development of a new allocation framework for the commercial salmon fishery and $28.5 million directed to the buyback of troll licences in all three areas (F, G and H). The decision of the courts was based, among other things, on the testimony of the GTA and AFTA which jointly hired legal counsel to represent the interests of their members.

We are now looking to the Area F and H licence holders to help fund the legal costs and have suggested a donation of $100 per tag (although more or less will be gratefully accepted). While the GTA has offered to cover the shortfall, we would like to keep that to a minimum so that the GTA funds are available to support future troll fleet requirements.


Proxy Form for GTA Annual General Meeting

For those who may not be able to make it to the GTA Annual General Meeting, you can still have your voice heard by proxy. You can fill out the Proxy Form found here and send it with a friend, or fax it to the Best Western Dorchester Hotel (Attention GTA) at 250.754.2638.


GTA Seeks Intervener Status in Area G Court Case

The GTA, in cooperation with the Area F Troll Association, has decided to fund a legal intervention in an application for judicial review initiated by Doug Kimoto, Vic Amos and the West Coast Troller (Area G) Association on behalf of all Area G licence holders (the "Area G Trollers") commonly referred to as "the Kimoto case".

The Area G Trollers in the Kimoto case are claiming all of the $30 million mitigation fund to be paid to Canada by the United States as a consequence of the renewal of the Chinook salmon annex of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, in opposition to the principles of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceanís decision dated December 2, 2009 including the three key elements of a fishery mitigation program being:

  • A voluntary, permanent licence retirement program for troll licence holders in Areas G, F and H

  • A process to support development of a new salmon allocation framework

  • A program to support economic development in West Coast of Vancouver Island communities

The outcome of this case will directly affect your livelihood and the value of your salmon licence! The GTA, through its lawyer, Richard Keevil, is soliciting funds to pay for our intervention in this landmark case. We urge you to use the attached donation form to support this action and protect your livelihood!

For more information attend the GTA Annual General Meeting, January 29, Best Western Dorchester Hotel, Nanaimo, BC, beginning at 1030.


GTA Annual General Meeting

The Gulf Trollers Association Annual General Meeting date has been set. The AGM will be held January 29 at the Dorchester Hotel in Nanaimo, starting at 1030.

Updates on the Area G legal challenge to DFO's plans for the Chinook Mitigation Funds, the intervention by the GTA and Area F, and a panel discussion on changes to Salmon Allocation are some of the highlights.

You can find the complete agenda and notice of meeting here.


Integrated Harvest Planning Committee Information

The Integrated Harvest Planning Committee met in late November to discuss a number of items including the outlook for 2011. Several documents were presented, and are made available for your reading pleasure.


New GTA Fishing Notice Line

The Gulf Trollers Association has new Fishing Notice Line for members to use. Beginning in the 2011 season Area H fishing notices will be available by calling 604.515.5488.

During the off season members should call Dane Chauvel at 604.312.8884 or Pete Sakich at 250.247.8380 with any questions they may have.


Area Harvest Committee Nomination Results

The results of the Area Harvest Committee nominations are in. Some areas will have elections while others will have their nominees elected by acclamation. All the details can be found here.


Chum Fishery Closes

Poor catches in both the test and commercial chum fisheries in Johnstone Straits have led DFO to suspend the fishery. The total chum return through Johnstone Straits is now estimated to be less than one million fish, the condition for suspending the fishery.

Details can be found in the DFO announcement.


New Transport Canada Certification Requirements Coming

Transport Canada is phasing in certification requirements for the fishing fleet. This will affect all vessels within the next 6 years, so this will directly affect YOU.

Jim Nightingale has been monitoring this file for the past couple of years and has written a good article summarizing the situation.

You should also read the Fish Safe document Gina Johansen prepared that will fill you in on all the details.


DFO letter to the Integrated Advisory Group on Chinook Mitigation

On September 30 Joanne Lawrence sent the following email to IAG participants along with a letter from Sue Farlinger;

Dear Integrated Advisory Group Members,

Thank you for your participation in the May 5, 2010 Integrated Advisory Group (IAG) meeting, regarding the Mitigation Program under Chapter 3 (Chinook) of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Please find, attached, a letter from Susan Farlinger, Regional Director General, Pacific Region, in follow up to that meeting. If you would like to receive a hard copy of this letter, please send me your mailing address and I will provide you with one.

In addition, we will be proceeding shortly with the survey, referenced in the letter, regarding implementation of Economic Capacity-Building in West Coast Vancouver Island Communities. As we would like IAG members' input on this element of the Mitigation Program, please send me your mailing addresses by October 15, 2010, so that I can include you in the mail out.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at joanne.lawrence@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

You can find the letter from Sue Farlinger outlining DFO's course of action here.


Advertise Chum Quota Here

Any fishers seeking Chum quota to lease, or who want to offer quota to lease, are welcome to post an ad on the Gulf Trollers Association website. Simply use the link on the home page to submit your ad (in the right sidebar), or send an email to Webmaster.

Fishers can also use two other methods to post ads:

  1. Post a message to the GTA listserve by sending an email to listserve@gulftrollers.com
  2. Advertise on The Quota Exchange www.itq.ca. This is a free service, all fishers are welcome to use it to advertise quota wanted or offered - all you have to do is register and post an ad.

Good fishing to all!


Area H Chum Opening Announced

Fishing plans for the Area H chum fishery were announced today, details can be found here.

Details of the transferable boat days fishery can be found here.


Area Harvest Committee Nominations Called For

The Commercial Salmon Advisory Board (CSAB) 2010 Salmon Area Harvest Committee Representative Nominations are now underway. In order to be eligible to stand for election to the Area Harvest Committee, all nominations must be received by 1600 on October 29th, 2010. Nomination forms are posted here.

The full DFO announcement can be found here.


Celebration of Steve Bergh's life

There will be a celebration of Steve Bergh's life (died August 16) and all the many people that made his life such a good thing are invited to the Maritime Heritage Centre (down by the pier) in Campbell River on September 19 at 3 PM. This is a community event and Alice would like to thank everyone for all they did to make his 60 years so rich.

For more information contact Alice Woods at 250.203.2421


September 17 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Friday's announcement can be found here.


September 17 Fraser Panel Announcement

Friday's Fraser Panel announcement can be found here.


September 10 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Friday's announcement can be found here.


September 10 Fraser Panel Announcement

Friday's Fraser Panel announcement can be found here.


September 7 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Tuesday's announcement can be found here.


September 7 Fraser Panel Announcement

Tuesday's announcement about a further increase in run size can be found here.


Gulf Trollers Steve Bergh and Doug Marshall pass on

Long time gulf trollers Steve Bergh and Doug Marshall both succumbed to cancer in recent weeks. Doug Marshall passed away on the afternoon of August 5. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for two years and spent his last days at his mother's house on the banks of the Cowichan River that he loved. A service was held at the Bethel Tabernacle in Ladysmith on August 13 in Doug's memory.

Steve Bergh left us on August 16 in hospital after a brief fight with cancer. The Times Colonist had a good article on Steve. A celebration of his life is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Marine Heritage Centre in Campbell River.

Both Doug and Steve will be sadly missed by their many friends who knew and fished with them over the years. I know we will all be thinking of them when we pass down the tacks they loved the best.


August 31 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Today's announcement can be found here.


August 31 Fraser Panel Announcement

Today's announcement about another increase in run size can be found here.


August 27 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Friday's announcement can be found here.


August 27 Fraser Panel Announcement

Friday's announcement about the biggest sockeye run since 1913 can be found here.


August 20 DFO Fraser River Sockeye Update

Today's announcement can be found here.


August 20 Fraser Panel Announcement

Today's announcement can be found here.


August 15 Fraser River Sockeye Update

Today's announcement can be found here.


August 15 Fraser Panel Announcement

A rare Sunday Fraser Panel meeting took place today, for the details click here.


August 11 Fraser River Sockeye Announcement

Today's announcement can be found here.


Fraser River Sockeye Opening Announced

Area H troll fishery opens August 8, get the details here.


August 6 Fraser River Sockeye Announcement

Today's announcement can be found here.


August 3 Fraser River Sockeye Announcement

Today's announcement can be found here.


2010 Troll Update Line Begins Operation

The troll update line is back in operation for the 2010 season and will have a new update after every Fraser River Panel meeting.

Call 1.888.282.4731 to get the latest Area H fishery announcements.


Guidelines for 2010 Areas H and B Quota Transfers

Questions have been posed about the guidelines for transferring quota between Areas H and B for the coming season and the associated fishery restrictions. These can now be found on the DFO website, or a PDF version can be downloaded here.


July 30 Fraser River Sockeye Announcement

This is the first update on the progress of the Fraser River returns for 2010. Look forward to regular updates here.

Test fishing catches are increasing, but no openings are yet scheduled.

July 30 DFO announcement.


2010 Gulf Trollers Association Annual General Meeting

The GTA AGM will be held Friday March 19 at the Best Western Dorchester Hotel in Nanaimo beginning at 1030 hours. Highlights include:

  • Tagging and Electronic Logs
  • PST Mitigation Funds
  • Outlook for the 2010 Area H Fisheries
  • 2010 Fraser River Sockeye Outlook
  • What's Happening at the CSAB
  • 2010 Demonstration Fishery Proposals

See you there!


Prime Minister Harper announces Judicial Inquiry

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the appointment of The Honourable Bruce Cohen, Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, as a Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River.

As Commissioner of the Inquiry, Justice Cohenís mandate will be to investigate and report on the reasons for the decline of sockeye salmon in the Fraser River. He will make recommendations for improving the sustainability of the sockeye salmon fishery in the Fraser River, including, as required, any changes to the policies, practices and procedures of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in relation to the management of the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. The report resulting from the Inquiry will be submitted to the Government on or before May 1, 2011.

For more details read PM Harper's announcement.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are broad enough to give Justice Cohen the ability to look into any and all possible causes of the disappearance of 90% of the expected 2009 Fraser River sockeye return. You can find the terms of reference here.


US to compensate BC Fishing Industry

The US government will hand over millions of dollars to compensate the B.C. fishing industry for dramatic cuts to salmon fisheries. For the full story read the Globe and Mail article.


2008 Area H Troll Johnstone Strait Chum Demonstration Fishery

In May 2008, 70 per cent of the respondents to a poll conducted of Area H licenceholders indicated their preference for an individual transferable defined share demonstration fishery for the 2008 chum season. Of those who supported the individual transferable defined share demonstration fishery, 88 per cent were in favour of allowing for the transfer of shares between and among the seine, gillnet and troll fleets.

In the ensuing months, the Area H Harvest Committee worked with the DFO resource managers to design such a demonstration fishery. The Area B Harvest Committee participated in the process because the Area B licenceholders also supported both a transferable defined share demonstration fishery and inter-fleet transfer.

To adopt a piece-based quota fishery required that a preseason estimate of run size be made with the opportunity to provide for inseason adjustment if the projected abundance proved to be either lower or higher than actual returns. Having historically managed the Johnstone Strait Chum fishery on effort rather than abundance, required that DFO take a risk averse approach in forecasting run size that would see the initial estimate of run size at the low end of the range of possible returns (with a corresponding low ITQ allocation). In addition, there was a reluctance to entertain inseason adjustment because of the difficulty in determining a reliable estimate of run size prior to the end of the fishing season.

It was therefore proposed that Areas H and B consider as a compromise, a transferable effort-based fishery (the Area B Harvest Committee rejected this approach because of the challenge of managing the small but high-impact individual time allocations i.e. as an example, it was proposed that each Area B licenceholder might receive 126 minutes of fishing time). This concept had been considered in prior seasons by the Area H Harvest Committee as a method of accommodating the different requirements of ice and freezer boats by affording each the flexibility to use their allocated boat-days as they saw fit. An ice boat, for instance, might fish in three boat-day increments (delivering after each) while a freezer boat would be more inclined to fish continuously for an entire six to nine boat-day season.

Facilitating the transfer of boat-days between licenceholders should also allow those interested in extending their season to do so by acquiring boat-days from those licenceholders who are involved in other fisheries or, for some other reason, are unable or not interested in using their own boat-days (for 2008, approximately 450 boat-days will be made available to the 89 Area H licenceholders). As well, extending the time over which the harvest is conducted should enable higher value to be obtained for the fish than would be the case if all the fish came onto the market at the same time as has been the case in the past. Facilitating the transfer of boat-days also presents an opportunity to address the record high operating costs (fuel and crew, for instance) by enabling licenceholders to pool their boat-days and send one vessel to do the job of two or three. Beyond the direct financial benefits, the transferable effort-based fishery should afford a basis for evaluating share-based management and transfer while abundance-based forecast models are developed to replace the effort-based management models that have been used historically.

To assist with the matchmaking of those looking for boat-days with those holding available boat-days, Tom Kasmer has offered to make available the Quota Exchange (http://www.itq.ca) at no cost for the 2008 fishery. Click here for a document prepared by Tom explaining how you can place a listing and how you can be automatically notified when a listing of interest is entered.

Guidelines for the 2008 Area H Johnstone Strait Chum demonstration fishery can also be found here.


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