The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 November 8, 2018 Dear Minister Wilkinson: Every five years, a survey of recreational fishing in Canada is carried out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The 2010 survey results were a positive testament to the importance of recreational fishing to Canada's economy. Over 8 million Canadians enjoy recreational fishing and support an industry that generates over 9 billion dollars annually, employing thousands of Canadians. The results of the 2015 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada have been ‘PENDING’ now for over two years. As the representative organization of the recreational sportfishing industry in Canada, we have been watching your Ministry’s website monthly for the release of the results only to see notices such as ‘coming this Spring’ then, ‘coming this Fall’, and now just ‘Pending’. 2019 will be here in less than two months and the results of the 2015 survey will be four years old. On behalf of the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, I ask you, what is the hold up? Our member companies, which employ tens of thousands of Canadians in manufacturing, retail and media, deserve to have access to the most recent taxpayer-funded survey results in a more timely fashion. I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Kim Rhodes President Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association cc: Robert Zimmer, MP/Outdoor Caucus Co-Chair Gudie Hutchings, MP/Outdoor Caucus Co-Chair Larry Miller, MP Marc Serré, MP Phil Morlock, GA Chair, CSIA Interested Parties
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 [...]
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 [...]
Bourses d’étude annoncées pour les étudiants se spécialisant dans les domaines halieutiques et fauniques
Le 9 octobre 2018 Pour diffusion immédiate Bourses d’étude annoncées pour les étudiants se spécialisant dans les domaines halieutiques et fauniques Peterborough, ON : Shimano Canada et le caucus parlementaire du plein air du Canada, regroupant des députés de tous les partis, se sont associés pour financer des bourses d’étude à dix étudiants de niveau postsecondaire qui veulent avancer leurs études dans le domaine de la gestion et des recherches halieutiques et fauniques. Shimano Canada et le caucus du plein air offrent dix (10) bourses de trois mille dollars canadien (3000$ CAN) pour l’année scolaire 2018-19 à des étudiants de niveau collégial/universitaire inscrits dans une majeure en science dans le domaine halieutique et faunique dans une institution académique accréditée du Canada ou des États-Unis. Les bourses seront données directement aux étudiants et peuvent être utilisées pour les frais de scolarité, les manuels scolaires ou les frais de subsistance. "Nous sommes heureux de nous joindre au caucus parlementaire du plein air du Canada, regroupant des députés de tous les partis, pour offrir ces bourses à des étudiants qui sont des pêcheurs actifs et des personnes qui participent à des activités entourant notre héritage de plein air, " a dit Phil Morlock, vice-président aux affaires gouvernementales/ groupe de défense d’intérêt pour Shimano North American Holding Inc. et Shimano Canada Ltée. "Les pêcheurs ont toujours été des précurseurs lorsqu’il est question de conservation des ressources et nous avons besoin qu’il y en ait plus qui s’intègrent dans le domaine professionnel de la gestion et des recherches halieutiques et fauniques." Comme de nombreux gestionnaires provinciaux et fédéraux des ressources naturelles s’approchent de la retraite, les postes restés vacants devront être comblés par des personnes qualifiées qui comprennent l’aspect pratique [...]
Peterborough, ON: Shimano Canada and the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus of Canada have partnered to fund scholarships for ten dedicated post-secondary students committed to advancing their education in fish and wildlife management/research science. Shimano Canada and the Outdoor Caucus (OC) are offering ten (10) $3000 CDN college/university scholarships for the 2018-19 school year for students enrolled in a fish and wildlife sciences major in an accredited academic institution in Canada or the United States. The award will be made directly to the students and can be used for tuition, textbooks or living expenses. “We are pleased to partner with the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus in offering these scholarships to students who are active anglers and participants in our outdoor heritage activities,” states Phil Morlock, Vice President, Government Affairs/Advocacy for Shimano North American Holding Inc. and Shimano Canada Ltd. “Anglers have always been leaders in natural resource conservation and we need more of them to enter the professional fields of fish and wildlife management and sciences.” As many of the provincial and federal natural resource managers approach retirement, there will be a need to fill vacant positions with qualified individuals who understand the practical aspects of angling, sustainable use and harvest of fish and wildlife, and who have a passion for sport fishing. “As Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus I understand the importance of conservation as it applies to our outdoor heritage activities, commented Bob Zimmer, MP, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies. “As hunters, anglers and sport shooters we know that it’s important to teach successive generations why conservation is so crucial. I’m very honoured to be a part of this important initiative.” According to Outdoor Caucus Co-Chair Gudie Hutchings, MP, Long Range Mountains, "Canadians who [...]
September 24, 2018 Hon. Catherine McKenna Minister, Environment and Climate Change House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 Dear Minister McKenna, Re: Point Pelee National Park region National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) feasibility study The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) represents the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and sales agencies which serve the 8 million Canadians who fish as an outdoor heritage activity. According to federal government figures our industry currently generates an annual national economy of over $8.6 billion dollars. In tandem with hunting our customers support over 100,000 jobs in all regions of the country. More Canadians fish for recreation than play golf and hockey combined. Sportfishing in all of the Great Lakes is some of the best in the world and generates a significant economy in Canada and the U.S. We write in support of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association (OCFA) position opposing the concept of a feasibility study by Parks Canada to create a NMCA around Point Pelee National Park, Pelee Island and all of Pigeon Bay. The OCFA Executive Director explained their opposition in their letter to you of September 17, 2018 (attached). Our information is a motion proposing such a feasibility study will soon be tabled in the House of Commons, directed to you and the CEO of Parks Canada. This Lake Erie region is very popular with anglers and the fishery for multiple species is very healthy and sustainable under current policy and regulation. CSIA is also opposed to any initiative by ECCC or Parks Canada to establish a policy or legislative foundation for eventual permanent / severely restrictive access closures for recreational anglers in Lake Erie or any of the Great Lakes without a credible basis in independently peer [...]
National Fishing Week may be over, but there are still plenty of opportunities to introduce the excitement of fishing to youngsters. This week's episode of the Shimano Conservation Files shows you how you can recapture the thrill of your first catch by taking a kid fishing! Keep Canada Fishing is the national voice of Canada’s anglers, and we lead the effort to preserve your right to sustainably fish on our lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. By informing anglers of current and potential issues and threats affecting recreational fishing and access to public waters, our goal is to motivate anglers to take action on matters of importance to the future of fishing and conservation. We’re also your voice on Parliament Hill. If you would like to contribute to our efforts to “Keep Canada Fishing,” you can donate now via PayPal.
Eating fresh fish is healthy and delicious. Here are a few tips for caring for your catch in this week's episode of the Shimano Conservation Files. Keep Canada Fishing is the national voice of Canada’s anglers, and we lead the effort to preserve your right to sustainably fish on our lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. By informing anglers of current and potential issues and threats affecting recreational fishing and access to public waters, our goal is to motivate anglers to take action on matters of importance to the future of fishing and conservation. We’re also your voice on Parliament Hill. If you would like to contribute to our efforts to “Keep Canada Fishing,” you can donate now via PayPal.