The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association strongly supports scientifically based management of our marine and freshwater resources. Anglers (and hunters) fund conservation and lead all other groups in efforts to benefit fish and wildlife, including species that are not harvested. They have a long history of making sacrifices for the betterment of the resource. These accommodations have sometimes included targeted closures where the science has clearly indicated they are the best solutions to protect fish and sensitive habitat. However, as outlined in an earlier article, very little pertinent research is contributed to recent closures and proposed closures. Zoning of public access to the nation's waters based on arbitrary percentage formulas, purchased ‘science,’ and European ‘values’ is not acceptable, not credible and not in the interest of Canadians. The establishment of any protected area regardless of its level of restrictions should: Be based on the best scientific information available. Include criteria to assess the conservation benefits of the closed area. Establish a timetable for review of the closed area’s performance that is consistent with the initial purpose for creating the closure, and remove closure designation once the management goals are achieved. Allow for recreational fishing to continue whenever possible. Acknowledge and allow for the significant differences between the often severe impacts on habitat and fish populations from some commercial fishing harvest methods compared to the minimal effects from recreational fishing practices. Be based on an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the closure, including its size, in relation to other management measures (either alone or in combination with such measures), including the benefits and impacts of limiting access to: users of the area, overall fishing activity, fishery science, and fishery and marine conservation. Go to Article [...]
Why are US environmental groups invited to the table while Canadian stakeholders are not? Canada boasts 8 million anglers. These 8 million anglers generate an annual economy of $9 billion in support of their passion. Recreational fishing supports jobs in tourism, transportation, retail goods, boating, vehicle sales, ATV’s and snowmobiles. The taxes generated on multiple levels as a result of people fishing are substantial. Even so, the federal government has not always viewed sustainable recreational fishing as an important part of the Canadian economy. The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) is the only national recreational fishing industry organization in Canada. Representing retailers, manufacturers and sales agencies, the CSIA works closely with sister trade organization, The American Sportfishing Association, on issues of mutual interest. Many of the U.S. Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) and benefactors which threaten the future of fishing access in Canada are engaged in identical campaigns back home. The contrast, however, is in transparency. Even after asking to be included in discussions concerning major policy or legislative initiatives which directly impact fishing, CSIA is never invited to the table. U.S. ENGOs, on the other hand, are welcomed as "stakeholders" by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Before an accountable, transparent and fairly balanced stakeholder policy process can be established at DFO and ECCC, there must be full disclosure by these agencies of the existing funding, partners, maps and plans involved in ongoing policies and plans concerning MPAs. Go to Article 1: Funds from U.S. ENGOs Threaten Your Right to Fish Go to Article 2: The North American Model of Conservation Go to Article 3: Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All Go to Article 4: Canadians’ Access to Fishing [...]
Will you be able to take your kids fishing in 5 years? When you look at trends in fishing closures, maybe not. It might sound like the plot of a Mission Impossible film, but there is a quiet, coordinated effort on the part of numerous U.S.-based environmental organizations to close access to fishing for Canadians. This effort can be seen most recently in British Columbia. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been at the fore of developing a Protected Areas plan since 2008, beginning in North West coastal British Columbia, with access closures now mapped on 102,000 square km of coastal and inland waters. According to DFO, the closures in BC represent their plan for the rest of Canada -- including the Great Lakes. Recent Environmental Non-Government Organization (ENGO) submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recommend 75% permanent closure zones in all protected area designations. Another concerning fact is that public transparency and stakeholder involvement is limited. Much of what is being planned is taking place behind closed doors. Looking five years down the road, the math around permanent fishing access closures is sobering for people who just want to take their kids fishing. Go to Article 1: Funds from U.S. ENGOs Threaten Your Right to Fish Go to Article 2: The North American Model of Conservation Go to Article 3: Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All Go to Article 5: 8 Million Anglers Left in the Dark: Why Don’t We Get a Say in Fishing Closures? Go to Article 6: Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management From Anglers’ Perspective This is an ongoing issue that we will be reporting on — both in-depth and as the threat of fishing closures arise across [...]
Where fisheries closures arise, supporting scientific data is curiously absent. Last week we outlined the seven components of the North American Conservation Model. Included in that list are three crucial guidelines: that regulations be based on sound science, that the public have sustainable access to public lands, and that public resources be effectively and sustainably managed. When used as intended, Protection Zones (e.g. MPAs) are one tool among many which professionals can use to manage aquatic resources. They can span a variety of habitats and they can vary in purpose and level of protection. At their core, they are established to protect threatened fish stocks and sensitive habitat within specified boundaries, and can be removed once their goals have been accomplished. WHAT ARE MPAs? Where MPAs are suggested, site specific scientific data is required to first determine what problems exist, before fishery managers can decide what solution fits best. However, U.S. Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) have hijacked the intended use to suit an entirely different anti-sustainable use agenda. While these efforts are championed under the guise of ‘protecting habitat,’ documented threats and supporting scientific data is often absent. In many instances Anglers are being falsely portrayed as a threat to habitat, fishery conservation and to healthy fish populations. Instead of science, arbitrary percentages and a ‘one size fits all’ approach for vast networks of ‘Protection Zones’ are now being mandated for Canadian waters. Sadly, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Prime Minister Trudeau have followed along with these organizations. As we mentioned in our previous article, ENGOs do not pay taxes, and they petition the government for funds to support their cause. In many ways, responsible anglers [...]
With information from the Government of Canada. MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) are protected areas of seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes that are legally protected and managed to achieve the long-term conservation of nature. MPAs may allow some current and future activities depending on their impacts to the ecological features being protected. Contribute to a healthy marine environment: MPAs and MPA networks help conserve and protect marine species and populations, the diversity of ecosystems that marine organisms depend on, and special places. MPA networks also help to protect important ecological links between one area and another, contributing to improved species resilience and adaptation to future pressures. Support economic goals of society: Resilient and healthy ecosystems help to support sustainable industries, local economies and coastal communities. In time, protected areas can be a source of young fish to disperse to other areas, and a source of larger and more abundant fish for unprotected areas near MPAs. A MPA network strategy clarifies our direction for marine conservation, so ocean users will have a clearer vision of their potential access and restrictions to marine resources. Contribute to Canadian culture: MPAs can be developed to conserve and protect marine areas with spiritual or cultural heritage value such as archaeological sites, shipwrecks, and areas traditionally used by Aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities. Recreation, tourism and education activities that are consistent with the objectives of a protected area may be permitted, improving public awareness, understanding and appreciation of Canada’s marine heritage.
In our first article in our series on Elevating Recreational Fishing in Canada, we revealed that the Canadian government is ignoring decades of sound natural resources management. What should be celebrated as an ongoing accomplishment in long-lasting sustainability, is unfortunately tainted by a large network of nefarious motives, backroom meetings, and questionable financial dealings -- all driven by powerful U.S. environmental groups. However, it should be noted that the wealth of healthy and abundant fish and wildlife populations, habitat, parks and protected areas we take for granted in Canada did not occur by accident. Simply stated, Canadian natural resource management professionals and scientists have successfully applied the seven basic components of the North American Model of Conservation for decades. The North American Model of Conservation: HELD IN THE PUBLIC TRUST - Fish, wildlife, public waters and lands. A BASIS IN SOUND SCIENCE – The foundation for all natural resource management, access and harvest regulations, application of policy and environmentally sustainable wise use. DEMOCRATIC RULE OF LAW - For public access to public lands, waters and sustainable use of fish, wildlife and other natural resources. OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL - Every citizen has an opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in Canada (and the U.S.). USER PAYS FUNDING - Provincial, territorial, state fish & wildlife agencies / law enforcement funded by fishing & hunting license revenues and related taxes. INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES – The U.S. and Canada jointly manage fish, wildlife and habitat under various treaties, commissions, enforcement and professional organizations. COMMERCE IN DEAD FISH & WILDLIFE – Prohibitions, regulation & enforcement. The above components and the people who adhere to them have become the greatest environmental success story in world history. In future articles we'll discuss [...]
Money from US environmental organizations is influencing Canadian policy, federal agencies, and government bureaucrats... and it could mean bad news for our access to fishing. The fishing tradition is built into the very fabric of our lives as Canadians and with it, an inclination to protect the natural resources at our disposal. In the early 1900s many fish and wildlife populations were in serious decline. Commercialization and unregulated over-harvest were indisputable threats. Recognizing certain disaster, a few passionate anglers and hunters formed the Boone & Crockett Club: the first major conservation organization. Their foresight resulted in the creation of government fish and wildlife management agencies, professional academic training and scientific standards, creel and bag limits with closed seasons enforced by game wardens, public ownership of fish, wildlife, parks and protected areas. However, what should be celebrated as an ongoing accomplishment in long-lasting sustainability, is unfortunately tainted by a large network of nefarious motives, backroom meetings, and questionable financial dealings. Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) and their supporting foundations have been dedicated to influencing the government of Canada in a sustained clandestine initiative to permanently close public access to vast regions of public waters and adjacent lands. ENGOs, who do not pay taxes nor employ tens of thousands of Canadians, pressure the federal government for hundreds of millions of dollars a year, often directed at further restricting or banning angler access to places to fish. The irony is striking. Go to Article 2: The North American Model of Conservation Go to Article 3: Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All Go to Article 4: Canadians' Access to Fishing Could Close Permanently Go to Article 5: 8 Million Anglers [...]