North Island-Powell candidate Shelley Downey says her party is promising a science-based approach to fisheries management.

The Conservative candidate made the announcement at Campbell River’s Discovery Harbour Marina on Sunday morning.

Downey says a Conservative government will put together an advisory panel that will put science-based management first, citing this summer’s recreational and commercial fishing closures.

“Our coastal communities and yourselves felt the impact firsthand. There was no concern for workers or our coastal communities. The Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens don’t comprehend how vital fisheries are to this riding,” Downey said.

“Whether it’s a coastal community that relies on fishing and aquaculture industries, a family putting food on their table or an angler enjoying recreational fishing, Canadians have a strong connection to our fisheries and want to see that way of life protected.”

Downey says the fisheries advisory panel will include Indigenous groups, fish harvesters, anglers and other experts to rebuild critical stocks and make sure everyone is working together.

“We will enhance and rebuild wild Pacific and Atlantic salmon stocks by increasing support for community-led conservation and enhancement projects and increasing the price of the salmon conservation stamps for non-residents to the benefit of the Pacific Salmon Foundation,” she said.

“We will complete a new recovery plan for all of Canada’s critical fisheries and develop strategies for managing predators and invasive species where necessary.” 

Downey adds the Conservatives will repeal measures that bypass community consultation processes, develop anti seafood fraud measures, and create a modern aquaculture act. 

“We will support the advancement of technology and practices that reduce contact between wild and farmed salmon. And lastly, we’ll be providing $250 million in additional support to small town harbours.”

Election day is set for October 21st.