While our plan is comprehensive and we expect to work with a number of parties to realize its implementation, there are a number of specific issues that are a priority to the Central Coast First Nations. We expect to work with government, our neighbouring communities and industry to address these issues as soon as possible.
Co-Jurisdiction / Shared decision-making
Central Coast First Nations maintain rights and title over our entire territories. In the past, consultation about resource harvesting and development in our territories has been inconsistent and for the most part inadequate. Moving forward, we believe decisions about the activities in our territories must be made in conjunction with the Central Coast First Nations, on a co-jurisdiction basis. As with the Provincial and Federal governments, resource extraction and development in our territories should require the approval of our Nations.
Government revenue sharing
In order for the Central Coast First Nations to reach our authority, resource management, and economic goals we will need to significantly increase our institutional, human and capital capacity. In particular, we require a stable source of capital to manage our territories. Currently, the Federal and Provincial governments receive significant resource revenues and taxes from the resource wealth in our territories. We want a share of that wealth and will work with both levels of government to realize revenue sharing agreements.
Stock restoration and rehabilitation
The health of many of the fish stocks in our territories are a pressing concern to the Central Coast First Nations. We maintain that immediate actions through improved management, increased funding for enhancement and spatial planning must occur to return stock numbers to sustainable levels. This work needs to start now and the Central Coast First Nations are eager to work with government and stakeholders to this end.
Priority access to FSC
Harvest of resources from our territories is an important part of the contemporary and ongoing activities of the Central Coast First Nations, providing resources for food, medicine, fuels, building materials, and ceremonial and spiritual uses. However, we are finding it increasingly difficult to access fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes. Our people have to go further and stay out for longer periods to feed their families. We believe that areas must be set aside for the exclusive use of local people. By doing this, we will ensure priority access for local people, while at the same time creating refuge from industrial activity and intensive commercial and recreational fishing for marine species.
Monitoring and enforcement
Policy and regulation will only lead to sustainable practices with sufficient monitoring and enforcement. The government’s current approach to monitoring activities in our territories is woefully inadequate. Successful implementation of our plan requires that the Central Coast First Nations are able to directly enforce our plans, laws, policies and guidelines.
Territorial-based economic development
We have stood witness to resources leaving our territories in record numbers with no benefit to our Nations or communities. In commercial fisheries alone, catch value from our territories was over $18 million in 2007. Sustainability requires that social and economic well-being is achieved at a local level. Policy changes must occur to ensure that industry development and resource extraction in our territories benefits local communities.
The unselective and destructive nature of bottom trawling is inconsistent with our beliefs and EBM. Bottom trawling should be prohibited throughout the Central Coast.