Mr. Speaker, there is a ritual that occurs every year on the B.C. coast. Everyone involved in the recreational salmon fishery urges the DFO to announce its annual fishing plans early. Every year the department announces them late.
Dependent businesses are placed in an impossible situation where they must book summer clients without knowing the catch limits so they will not lose them to Alaska or other jurisdictions. In past years negative surprises from DFO have led to massive cancellations.
Alaska releases its detailed fishing plans for the following year in November. DFO only released its 2002 salmon fisheries management plans for northern and southern B.C. on May 31.
There is no technical barrier to prevent earlier DFO announcements. DFO must develop a sense of urgency.