­

Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All

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 [...]

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 [...]

Re: Point Pelee National Park region National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) feasibility study

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 [...]

M.P. Bob Zimmer and Walter Oster Receive Sportfishing Industry President’s Award

CSIA President Kim Rhodes recently presented the association's highest honor to M.P. Bob Zimmer (Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies) and Walter Oster, in recognition of their advocacy and leadership in support of recreational fishing and conservation in Canada. Mr. Zimmer is Co-Chair of the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus and Mr. Oster has recently retired as Chair, Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows (CNSS). “Bob and Walter are both excellent ambassadors for our outdoor heritage sports and we appreciate all that each man has done, and continues to do on behalf of recreational fishing”, said Kim Rhodes. The all party Outdoor Caucus includes M.P.’s and Senators from all political parties who work together on legislation and policy which is important to fishing, hunting, trapping and target shooting. Eight million Canadians enjoy fishing and they live in every electoral riding in the country. CNSS is a not-for-profit Corporation and the largest producer of boat, fishing, ski and outdoor shows in Canada. In addition to the Great Ontario Salmon Derby, CNSS operates fishing and hunting consumer shows in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal. “Whenever there is a program to encourage young people to enjoy fishing, Walter Oster and CNSS have been there to support it”, said Rhodes. He added, “When some M.P.s and others work against the best interests of anglers and our industry, Bob Zimmer and his Outdoor Caucus colleagues have our backs in Ottawa”. 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 [...]

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.

We Wanna Know…

Our team has been toying with the idea of creating a Keep Canada Fishing subscription box, and now we want to know: is this something our friends and followers would be interested in? It would be a curated subscription box featuring products from CSIA members, partners and affiliates (some of whom are listed in the scrolling panel below) Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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 [...]

Our Letter to Members of Parliament regarding their vote next week on Bill C-246

The CSIA sent out the following letter to Canadian MPs regarding Bill C-246. Letter to MPs Regarding Bill C-246

LEGAL ANALYSIS OF Bill C-246

Document courtesy of the office of MP Robert Sopuck in cooperation with the Canadian legal community.  Executive Summary Current Law: The Criminal Code of Canada already has comprehensive provisions that criminalize various kinds of cruelty and neglect to animals. Comprehensive Provincial animal cruelty legislation also exists. The Courts have for decades consistently interpreted these provisions as not intending to forbid conduct that is socially acceptable or otherwise authorized by law such as hunting, fishing and slaughter for food. What does the Bill Change? These are just some of the most serious problems with this Bill: 1) Offences against Animals would no longer be offences against “Certain Property”: This one change is significant because it takes animal cruelty offences out of the section dealing with offences against “Certain Property” and moves to the section of the Criminal Code dealing with offences against persons, giving rise to the suggestion that Animals are no longer a special type of “property” but are beings entitled to rights similar to Persons. 2) Inclusion of new “Recklessly” test: The new section 182.1 includes the test of “recklessly” to the existing “wilfully” test for causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal. This expands the kind of conduct that could be criminalized to include conduct “...of one who sees the risk and who takes the chance...” that pain suffering or injury to an animal may occur. 3) New “kills an animal” offences: The Bill adds two new offences that are not currently in the Criminal Code: 182.2(1) Everyone commits an offence who, wilfully 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; (c) kills an animal without [...]

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 [...]