c/o 74-6700 Rumble St.
Burnaby, BC, V5E 4H7
March 10, 2016
The Honourable Hunter Tootoo
200 Kent Street
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, The Honourable Hunter Tootoo
Welcome to your portfolio as the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. We look forward to meeting with you soon. We are heartened by the Mandate Letter from Prime Minister Trudeau, and we can offer insights and advice on changes to the Fisheries Act (FA) and other issues you may be dealing with.
SEHAB board members represent volunteers who have been working on salmon enhancement and habitat issues for decades.
We are particularly interested in being consulted as the FA is revisited to both keep it streamlined and to also provide some real teeth when it comes to infractions that kill fish or damage habitat. Our strongest interest is in protecting what we still have, as we continue to witness a steady loss of habitat, ecosystem integrity and stock abundance.
The Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB) is funded by the Department under the Salmon Enhancement Program (SEP). We appreciate that SEP is a unique program existing only in British Columbia. SEHAB provides information from all over the province on progress, successes, and challenges. SEHAB provides input on legislation and policy, and encourages ongoing support of volunteers. We represent a volunteer force that works in conjunction with the Community Involvement (CIP) and Public Involvement Programs (PIP), local Community Advisors (CAs), and Resource Restoration Units (RRU), to restore and enhance the resource and educate our communities. We are the only salmonid focused organization in the province that does not use the resource. We only add to it, attempt to protect it, and do whatever we can to improve stocks.
SEHAB represents volunteer stewards and hatchery programs all over BC. It is estimated that about 30,000 volunteers assist the Department with stewardship education, restoration projects, and salmon enhancement through community based and Community Economic Development Program (CEDP) hatcheries.
SEHAB meets three times per year and representatives produce Roundtable Reports that are formulated based on what community volunteers have brought forward. These are compiled into a Closing the Loop document that is taken to DFO Pacific Regional Headquarters. These reports can be accessed on our website at www.sehab.ca.
We request a meeting with you at your convenience.
Paul Cipywnyk, SEHAB Secretary
On behalf of
Jack Minard, SEHAB Chair