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Canadians’ Access to Fishing Could Close Permanently

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 [...]

The North American Model of Conservation

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 [...]

Dr. Larry McKinney Testifies Before the Standing Committee on The Oceans Act

If you missed Dr. Larry McKinney's important testimony on January 30th to the House of Commons Standing Committee on The Oceans Act’s Marine Protected Areas, we encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to it below. Dr. McKinney is the Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies following 23 years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he served as director of Coastal Fisheries and senior director of Aquatic Resources. He is well respected as a marine scientist, fishery manager and conservationist in North America and beyond. Here his thoughts on the Oceans Act. Special thanks to the CSIA Government Affairs Chair, Phil Morlock, and Shimano for facilitating Dr. McKinney's appearance before the Standing Committee.

“Fund a Fish” – Conservationism at Carleton University

As Robert J. Pye noted in his blog "The Outdoors Journey," there are many researchers, organizations and associations actively committed to maintaining the health and sustainability of our waterways and ecosystems. Conservationism is an intentional act, rooted in our connection to the lakes we fish, the animals we hunt, and the other natural resources we use and consume. But the efforts we make to ensure long-term sustainability must be supported by sound scientific research. This interrelation between compassionate devotion and scientific objectivity is crucial to our ongoing success as conservationists. Dr. Steven Cooke’s team at Carleton University helps protect and manage fisheries and aquatic ecosystems through a variety of ongoing research projects. Their lab takes a special interest in Conservation Physiology, a discipline which examines how fish and other organisms respond to changes in their environments -- whether as a result of human interaction or natural occurrences. They use a number of methods to acquire their data, including tagging. The Cooke Lab is currently focusing some of their efforts on the Rideau Watershed, where they are tagging, tracking and monitoring small and large-mouth bass using acoustic receivers and micro acoustic transmitters. To complete this important task, they are asking for help in two ways: Providing information about your personal experiences fishing the Rideau Watershed. Have you ever fished for bass on Big Rideau Lake? Take this 10-minute survey to tell their research team about your experiences. Fund a fish! Donate to their Rideau Watershed project and help be an active part of the scientific process. Donors will receive personalized information on the fish they've "funded," including where it was tagged, where it swam, and ultimately, how the data the fish provided will improve fisheries management in the area. [...]

Statement by MP Zimmer Regarding Minister LeBlanc’s PNCIMA Announcement

For Immediate Release February 16, 2017 MEDICINE HAT, AB – Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies and Official Critic for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, made the following statement regarding the announcement by Minister LeBlanc officially endorsing the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) plan. “In 2011, the Conservative government withdrew their support and funding for PNCIMA because it was clearly spearheaded by environmental groups who are determined to completely ban traffic along the entire northern shelf bioregion. This plan is extremely reckless and goes far beyond any large-scale maritime conservation or maritime spatial planning initiative; it completely ignores the economic aspect. “PNCIMA, as it is written, threatens to handicap British Columbia’s economic potential by putting overly ambitious environmental protections ahead of economic interests. “I wrote four letters between February and June of 2014 to then Minister Gail Shea highlighting my significant concerns with this plan and those concerns are still relevant today. “I am also concerned that the livelihoods of the recreational and commercial fishermen have not been properly taken into account. It’s clear that our resource sector and sport fishing industry will be as adversely affected on the BC coast as they have been in California. It is unacceptable that fishing and the jobs and industry it supports have been virtually absent in the entire PNCIMA process and the Minister’s remarks “As I looked through the document I came across the Goals, Objectives and Strategies for PNCIMA and I would like to share them.” Integrity of the marine ecosystems in PNCIMA, primarily with respect to their structure, function and resilience Human well-being supported through societal, economic, spiritual and cultural connections to marine ecosystems in PNCIMA Collaborative, effective, transparent and integrated [...]

A BI-PARTISAN VICTORY IN PARLIAMENT FOR CANADA’S 8 MILLION ANGLERS

Thanks in large part to the non-partisan efforts and cooperation across the aisle by the Liberal and Conservative Co-Chairs of the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus (Members of Parliament Yvonne Jones and Bob Zimmer), a major legislative threat to the future of fishing was dealt a stunning defeat on Wednesday, October 5 in the House of Commons. MP Blaine Calkins chairs the Conservative Hunting & Angling Caucus and also worked to educate his fellow MPs on the issue.  By a vote of 198 to 84, Conservative and Liberal MPs stood together with Cabinet and Prime Minister Trudeau in support of our outdoor heritage activities and defeated a Bill which would have made it a federal crime to kill a fish or shoot a duck for dinner. The Modernizing Animal Protections Act (C-246) was introduced in Parliament on February 26, 2016 by MP Nathanial Erskine-Smith (L-Beaches-East York)  with the full support of U.S. and Canadian based organizations dedicated to ending all fishing, hunting, trapping, agriculture and medical research where animals are involved. Although the Bill was promoted as necessary to ban shark finning (which is already illegal) and to stop the alleged use of dog and cat fur in garments – the true purpose was far more sinister. No fewer than seven previous Bills with identical language and substantial fines and jail time for anyone killing an animal ‘brutally or viciously’ (even if the animal dies immediately), were repeatedly introduced in Parliament since 1999. Of course it is no coincidence the animal rights organizations promoting this legislation have a long history attempting to portray fishing, hunting and trapping to unsuspecting urbanites and media as being fundamentally brutal and vicious. For people who have never been fishing or [...]

Phil Morlock on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show – April 9, 2016

  The CSIA Government Affairs Chair Phil Morlock was on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show on Sportsnet 590 on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Listen to hear Phil's thoughts on how Bill C-246 could affect sportfishing in Canada.

GO FISHING, GO TO JAIL – There’s something’s fishy about Bill C-246

To contact your MP, MPP or MLA click here. Peterborough, Ont: Canadian families who fish together will do time together if Bill C-246 becomes law. The ‘Modernizing Animal Protections Act” was introduced last week by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith of Toronto. It is being promoted as legislation to ban of the importation of shark fins and outlaw the practice of shark finning in Canadian waters. But that is only the tip of the fin. An activist coalition of Canadian and U.S. animal rights organizations with a decades-long history of sustained attacks on anglers and farmers quickly supported the private member’s bill. Led by the International Fund for Animal Welfare of Yarmouth, Massachusetts and the Toronto-based Animal Alliance of Canada, these groups have once again come out in strong support of federal legislation which threatens a criminal charge, up to a $10,000 fine and five years jail time for anglers who harvest a few fish for dinner. Provisions in Bill C-246 clearly make it possible for someone who catches a fish to face criminal prosecution for cruelty to animals. Even the act of baiting a hook with a worm would be considered an act of cruelty according to the Bill. Specifically, Section 182.1.1 states that: 182.1 (1) Everyone commits an offence who, willfully or recklessly, (b) kills an animal or, being the owner, permits an animal to be killed, brutally or viciously, regardless of whether the animal dies immediately; This section poses the same threat as the seven previous iterations of similar bills. According to exhaustive legal opinions, for the first time in Canadian history this section would make it an offence to kill an animal brutally or viciously – without defining those terms – and [...]

Anti-fishing attitudes are a threat too

Originally Published by Ontario Out of Doors, 2016 By Angelo Lombardo, OFAH Executive Director We are all familiar with the strong anti-hunting sentiments pushed on society by some individuals and groups. They may not be in the majority, but they are always making noise in an attempt to influence government policy and the court of public opinion. The hunting community faces an ongoing onslaught of anti-hunting propaganda campaigns, misrepresentation of the hunting community in the media and misguided animal cruelty legislation. The fallout of last summer’s Cecil the Lion media spectacle continues to bring unwarranted scrutiny on the broader hunting community. Protests, petitions and propaganda here in Ontario convinced hotels to renege on agreements to host African hunting shows. The OFAH spoke out against these inappropriate actions and continues to work hard to counterbalance any misinformation about hunting -- see www.ofah.org/hunting. Although African hunting is not a part of the OFAH mandate, it is being used as a platform to spread misinformation that slanders the entire hunting community. As OFAH President Glenn Rivard predicted in his October column, Cecil the Lion would only be the thin edge of the wedge, and anti-hunting groups will continue to use African hunting as a means to garner support to limit our hunting here at home. Antihunting advocates prey on an uninformed public to blur the lines between all forms of hunting, so we must remain vigilant and continue to set the record straight. As anglers, we don’t generally face the same level of scrutiny as hunters. Anti-fishing attitudes may not compare to the rabid anti-hunting opinions that are out there, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a real threat to our fishing future. It isn’t just commercial fishing [...]