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South Vancouver Island Fishing Bans Proposed for This Summer

Originally published by CHEK, December 12, 2018 By: Skye Ryan [British Columbia] is now proposing summer fishing bans for most streams and rivers on southern Vancouver Island including the Cowichan, as drought conditions persist. Biologists say that fishing is adding one more strike against fish stocks that are already struggling in warming waters and low stream flows. “And what we’ve seen is a pattern,” said Brendan Anderson, a fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources. “Where in the southern portion of Vancouver Island most systems will undergo some period of stressful condition,” said Anderson. So instead of responding in emergency closures like in years past, biologists are proposing putting blanket summer closures on angling in South Island rivers and streams to encourage compliance and prevent surprises to the public. To watch the video and learn more about the proposed fishing bans on Vancouver Island, visit cheknews.ca. 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.

Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management From Anglers’ Perspective

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 [...]

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 [...]

‘I am superbly worried’: West Coast fishermen await decision on restrictions meant to protect orcas

Originally Published by CBC, Nov 25, 2018 By Maryse Zeidler  A year after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed off several West Coast sports fishing area to protect orcas, fishermen say they're worried more closures are on the way along southern Vancouver Island. In 2017, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed several areas in the Juan de Fuca Strait to commercial and sport fishing between June and October. The closure was part of the DFO's efforts to protect a dwindling population of about 74 southern resident killer whales that feed on chinook salmon, which inhabit those waters in that time period. Ryan Chamberland, president of the Sooke Region Tourism Association and owner of the Vancouver Island Lodge, says more closures would devastate the small fishing villages along the coast. "Closing us down — ruining towns, everyone losing equity in their assets and properties, is not going to solve an issue, it's going to create a crisis," Chamberland said. "No one wants to lose their houses and jobs and and their way of lifestyle and opportunities to be on the water." The concerns of sports fishermen come at a time when some marine mammal experts say the closures might not even help the endangered southern resident killer whale. In November, Ottawa announced it wants to establish new areas of critical habitat off the west coast of Vancouver Island for southern resident killer whales — the Swiftsure Bank in the Juan de Fuca Strait between Vancouver Island and Washington state, and La Perouse Bank off Tofino, B.C. The DFO says it has consulted on the the critical habitat areas and it's still planning what fishing restrictions, if any, may be applied next year. Ottawa says designating the area as a critical habitat would also enable it to restrict other activities like whale watching and marine traffic, which [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]