Mr. Chair, it's an honour to table a petition, e-petition 2342, which was supported by 5,878 petitioners.
They cite that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced that the Pacific herring population dropped by nearly a third between 2016 and 2019. The unexpected drop in the herring population has resulted in unexpected overfishing of existing stock.
Pacific herring is the basis of the food web that supports salmon, killer and humpback whales, cod, halibut, sea birds, and the independent species on the Pacific coast.
They cite that first nations have constitutionally protected rights to herring, which are an important food source and an integral part of first nations culture.
They call upon the government to suspend the 2020 fishery, which has passed; to fairly compensate fishers for any economic losses—so they're looking to the future—and to ensure that decisions are made with full participation of first nations and local communities, which hasn't happened, Mr. Chair.