Lunney Calls on Fisheries Minister to Reinstate

Aquatic Management Board Funding

OTTAWA—Dr. James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, wrote a letter to the Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan today calling for the reinstatement of department funding for the West Coast Vancouver Island Aquatic Management Board.

“The future of this community-driven approach to the aquatic resource management is in jeopardy because DFO has cancelled some much-needed funding. The Minister must step in ensure this organization can continue its good work,” said Lunney.

The letter highlights the management board’s inclusive approach to dealing with resources on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Lunney pointed out that input comes from local communities, aboriginal groups, regional and fishing industry representatives, with the Nuu-chah-nulth principles of ‘Hishukish Ts’awalk’ (all is one) and Isaak (respect) guiding the group.

“It is a model that local communities have advocated for years,” writes Lunney. “It has great support locally and even greater potential for long term success. With cancellation of DFO funding, their future is in doubt.”

Lunney concludes the letter with a request for the Fisheries Minister to personally intervene to see that the $160,000 from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is restored.

“With $300 million in economic activity generated by use of the west coast’s aquatic resources, proper management that both includes and benefits local communities is vital to our future prosperity. The good work begun by the West Coast Vancouver Island Aquatic Management Board and the potential success of this model must be encouraged and developed,” said Lunney.