March 20, 2019
Dear CBSM member,
This e-mail is to advise you that as of March 31st 2019, the Coalition for Better Atlantic Salmon Management in New Brunswick will stand down.
As depicted in the two cartoon panels shown at the bottom of the text, DFO has chosen to bypass "the road to better management", and by continuing to blindly follow "the status quo highway", is only headed for irrelevance.
As laid out in our formation document, the CBSM was not intended to be a long-term entity. We came together to give DFO a push and we have done that. We now leave DFO with the clear message that they have lost the confidence of the angling community and that things must change.
DFO has to understand that public support is essential to any success in management and that they must earn that support. In 2017 we stated to them that the status quo was not acceptable and that we would not play their "rope-a-dope" game. Through the course of 2018 it became evident that they had no intention of implementing any positive change. They had no set objectives, no timelines for delivery, and were unable to explain just what their end-game was; what measures it would entail and how these changes would be implemented.
In January we advised DFO that the CBSM would not be complicit in their continuing mismanagement, and now, through the dissolution of our coalition, we are driving home the message that DFO has to change! By standing down, the CBSM is delivering the "enough is enough" message in the strongest way possible. Fundamental change is required. DFO has to step up, be accountable, and actually do its job. The current state of our stocks and the future of our fisheries demand it.
I want to thank you for your support. The creation of the CBSM, and its focus on three primary issues that needed to be addressed, struck a chord with many, as evidenced by the rapid and phenomenal public response in membership – 1,189 people added their weight to the push.
Attached to this e-mail please find a word document entitled Coalition News # 12. This is our last newsletter and covers the period from Nov. ’18 through to March ‘19. It provides some further detail on the decision to disband and covers three other pertinent points. Also, please note that sufficient funding is available to maintain our website at salmonnb.com for the upcoming year as an information source and an opportunity for commentary.
Lastly, you will note in the second cartoon panel, a comment on accountability. DFO does not see themselves as accountable for their failure to manage as no one in the department will lose their job over the loss of viable Atlantic Salmon fisheries, be they recreational or First Nation. The overseers of this federal department (our government MPs) can however be held accountable. With a federal election upcoming this October, we, the owners of the resource, will have an opportunity to hold these individuals to account for their inaction and their own complicity in accepting the status quo.
Former Steering Committee Chair - CBSM