June 6, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)


But surely the commission must know that there are at present some real grounds for making recommendations; that there should be no delay in regulating the catching of the small halibut, the baby halibut as they call them. I can remember the time when it was unlawful to catch halibut which weighed less than 25 pounds. I do not know whether that is still the law or not, but my information is that the small halibut are being caught and the banks thus being depleted. The fishermen have been forced to go out further to sea; the fish have been driven away from the fishing grounds by reason of the over-fishing that is taking place, and there is a scarcity of halibut. If this condition continues it is only a question of time when there will be no halibut at all. Some action is required immediately. I do not believe in this policy of waiting, waiting, which has been followed in the case of other species of fish. I was told at one time in the marine and fisheries committee that the biological board was investigating the sockeye salmon on the Fraser river, and that it would some day make a report. I asked when we might expect that report, and the reply was: *"In ten years or so." Must we wait ten or twenty years, until the halibut fishing is extinct, before we get a report from the international commission? We are either throwing away our money or should expect some results from the work of the commission. I should like to know from the minister what results we are getting, and what results we may [DOT]expect.

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