Commercial Salmon Fishery

Retiring Five Commercial Licenses

Under the Umbrella Final Agreement and First Nation Final Agreements there was a clear commitment to add eight new commercial licenses for aboriginal fishers to the Yukon River Commercial Salmon Fishery. Such an increase, however, would ensure that the fishery was less economically viable for all its participants. It was thus recommended by the Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee that up to eight licenses needed to be retired from the fishery.

In April of 1997, the Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee recommended to the Regional Director General of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Coast Guard (DFO), that DFO offer to contribute $10,000 to fishers who voluntarily gave up their future eligibility for a commercial license. In July of 1997, letters were sent to the 27 licensed commercial fishers on the Yukon River informing them of the program.

To date, license retirement has been effective and five commercial fishers have agreed to retire their licenses in exchange for compensation. Three additional commercial salmon licenses have been retired due to failure of the licensees to meet licensing conditions. The License Retirement Program will ensure that, as stock rebuilding programs proceed, the health of the salmon stocks and the viability and sustainability of the fishery continue to improve.