N.S. fisherman want striped bass stripped of special status
Commercial fishermen who rely on catches from the Stewiacke and Shubenacadie rivers to earn their living, say the plethora of striped bass is killing off other species, and hurting their pocketbooks.
They claim the waterways are overrun with striped bass, a protected species since 1992 in Canada.
Authorities still believe striped bass is endangered, but local fishermen claim the opposite, saying the waterways are flowing with the sought-after finfish, saying it eats everything in its path, causing other species to disappear.
"Now the river is just alive with bass and we want to do something about it," says Gerald Blake, with the local drift-netters' association.
"The only option we can see is for us to take a bunch and the anglers to take a bunch to bring this population down to something of normalcy, to a balance," he added.
Blake blames falling catches of Gaspereau and Shad on competition from striped bass.
Greg Stevens, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans isn't convinced, saying catches of Shad and Gaspereau are down in all rivers in Nova Scotia and while the striped bass population is recovering on the Shubenacadie, it's not yet out of danger.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada is reviewing the status of the striped bass and a ruling is expected at the end of the year.
"If it's relevant to put striped bass on an endangered species list, you might as well put chickens and turkeys on it too, because striped bass are more plentiful than them," said one angry fisherman."