Surveying all of the tied-up boats at Campbell River’s docks leaves Tom Sewid seething and certain his wild idea is the only way to proceed after a dire fishing season.“This is our Campbell River fleet,” said Tom Sewid, who is also the founder of the Pacific Balance Pinniped Society.“And none of them made any money commercial salmon seining south of Cape Caution. So I don’t care if you’re an environmentalist. Step aside. We are going to harvest seals whether you like it or not.”The Campbell River First Nations man wants seals to be the target of Indigenous fishermen boats this winter, to harvest thousands of seals for their fur.“It’s what we call winter prime,” said Sewid.

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Haida Gwaii leaders meet with Chinese officials in bid to attract more overseas visitors

By Chuck Chiang

Tourists from Asia could become a major driving force for tourism in some of B.C.’s coastal First Nations communities as early as next summer.

That’s the vision of Haida Gwaii Hereditary Chief Roy Jones Jr., who, along with other First Nations representatives, met with Chinese officials in Vancouver earlier this fall to drum up business links between B.C.’s Indigenous community and overseas markets

For Jones, the reason for pursuing the business of Chinese consumers is simple – jobs, especially for the younger members of First Nations communities.

“It would make a great difference for the younger generation who have little opportunity right now,” Jones said. “We’ve got nature, which is a great resource we can capitalize on, and I strongly believe that, if we got in there real quick, we can start seeing different opportunities even as early as next year if we work through the winter on this.”

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The fur is set to fly in Nanaimo this weekend, with an open house to kickstart campaigns for a seal, sea lion and sea otter commercial fishery in British Columbia. FurCanada, a Vancouver Island company, hopes the event on Dec. 14, will raise awareness about the overpopulation of seal and sea lions which are decimating B.C.’s endangered and threatened chinook salmon stocks. 

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