The Catch 22 of Licensing Policy: Socio-economic Impacts in British Columbia's Commercial Ocean Fisheries
Authors: Danielle N. Edwards & Eric Enno Tamm (Ecotrust Canada); Astrid Scholz & Charles Steinback, (Ecotrust)
Fisheries policy and the privatization of the fish resources in BC have netted a catch 22. Policies intended to improve the economic, social and ecological effects of fisheries often have had the opposite effect from the stated goals. Recent fishing policy, namely the salmon licence buybacks and quota implementation, have negatively impacted the fishing dependent coastal communities of BC. Licences have been disproportionately lost from rural coastal communities as the purchase price of licences has increased and licences are consolidated into fewer and fewer hands in urban centres. Hampered by reduced access to financial capital, rural communities, First Nations and the next generation of fishermen have been shut out, seriously undermining the long term viability of BC's fisheries, small coastal communities and small boat fishing fleet.
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