We did the conference call dash this morning. Kim needed to be in Hartley Bay’s cell coverage to do a conference call at 9am this morning which meant a 4:30am departure time from Cameron Cove. Woke up in the dark and fog with an illuminated fishing troller waiting for the fishery to open. Came out of the cove to find 4 more boats waiting for 6am when they are allowed to drop their nets – and they don’t waste anytime. We passed one at 6am and not a second later their net was down. When you see them it seems a little unfair that these boats sweep the ocean of the salmon we’ve been watching fight their way to get to this point where they are about to return to their place of birth to lay their eggs.
Pulled into Hartley Bay just in time for Kim to get on her call and for Scott to come along side solo. The boardwalked community of Hartley Bay is lovely. It almost feels like you’ve arrived in Europe with the Japanese import vehicles that drive over the planks at 30kms. The community just purchased a number of carts for the elders to use to get around. We ended up across the wharf from a local friend, Kyle Clifton’s boat where his family were getting ready to head out for the weekend. We were all having a chat on the dock at lunch when his mother-in-law caught a salmon right off the wharf with his daughter’s fishing rod! Had a nice visit with Kyle, walked the planked boardwalk passed the Gitga’at hatchery, passed an inviting swimming hole and some of the more delicious blue and huckle berries we’ve sampled, to a cabin next to a lake.
Gitga’at’s entire traditional territory encompasses the route that oil and gas tankers would travel through for export to Asia. They certainly have the least to gain and the most to lose in this situation. The Gitga’at have been sustainably managing the resources of this region for over a millennia and yet they are continually questioned and not given the opportunity to adequately participate in decision making around the impacts on the resources here. This sentiment was driven home as we spent the night trying to ignore the ostentatious mega yacht next door as they chain smoked and got drunk on their hot tub on the top deck, cackles echoing through the village. I really don’t think they could have been more ignorant if they tried.