March 4, 2013
The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) has covered many east coast fisheries but now the spotlight shifts to the west coast, where Christine and Tom Chipman fish from their vessel the Net Profit in Prince Rupert British Columbia. Their video is now available on the CCPFH website through Youtube at http://youtu.be/VpEFPfGeeqk.
“We’re exploring the personal side of the fish harvesting industry, telling a story about the fish harvesters, their community and ultimately how seafood makes its way to the consumer’s plate” said John Sutcliffe, Executive Director of the CCPFH. “We want to reignite interest in the industry as a career and also to reacquaint Canadians with the value this industry brings to our economy.”
The commercial salmon fishing video reflects on the complexities of the salmon fishery. Tom paints a picture with his words and tone of the current conditions of the fishery and its effects on west coast communities. He and his wife consider themselves lucky to still be in the fishing industry. Salmon was once their sole income, now they must fish otherspecies and have had to invest more money into equipment to continue to fish and make a living.
Tom says he sees many who have been fishing alongside him for his entire career having to leave. It’s sad for him to see. Unfortunately conservation efforts and government regulations haven’t yet succeeded in extending their fishing season. Currently they have only a few short days to the season. Still, Christine and Tom practice conservation methods such as the use of a revival tank and set free every single fish that isn’t their target species and hope that one day they’ll be able to fish the salmon they see swimming by for just a few more days a year and that fish harvesters can continue to make a living navigating the Skeena River.
“We want to demystify the industry,” said John Sutcliffe. “We want to connect consumers with fish harvesters and give them a better understanding of the industry, the challenges, the responsibilities and the pride fish harvesters have in their work.”
The videos are part of a project being funded by the Government of Canada and is being produced by Kobb Media for the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters.