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8 Million Anglers Left in the Dark: Why Don’t We Get a Say in Fishing Closures?

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 [...]

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 [...]

Funds from U.S. ENGOs Threaten Your Right to Fish

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 [...]