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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Why Disappearing Ciscoes Could Mean Big Trouble for Walleye Populations

Originally published by Outdoor Canada, August 29, 2018 By Gord Pyzer “You are what you eat,” which explains why many—heck most—of the very best walleye fisheries in North America have silvery, soft-rayed ciscoes as the principle forage. Ciscoes are typically what fattens up and nourishes walleyes to become the magnificent creatures we marvel at catching. Indeed, ciscoes, also known as tulibees and herring, are so vital to the health and vibrancy of so many world class walleye fisheries, that good friend Jeff Matity, who heads up Saskatchewan’s Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Hatchery recently spent time working up their caloric benefits to walleye. He also did the same for every other species that devours ciscoes, including lake trout, smallmouth bass and northern pike. What Matity discovered is that every pound of ciscoe swimming in a lake represents the same caloric energy as a McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. Think about it: as a primary prey species in many waters, ciscoes are often the most plentiful fish in the lake, so every one of the hundreds of thousands, even millions of ciscoes is a swimming double cheeseburger. But there is much more to the story, and that’s the fact that ciscoes are a cool water pelagic forage fish that spend their lives roaming the metalimnion (or thermocline) that sets up in lakes that are deep enough to stratify. This thin narrow band of cool water exhibits the steepest drop in temperature, often plummeting as much as one degree per foot of depth change, and separates the cold deep hypolimnion from the warm shallow epilimnion. The relationship is so important that many fish managers and biologists refer to the thermocline as simply the ciscoe layer. Because ciscoes represent such an enormous [...]

Join the Tradition – National Fishing Week June 30 to July 8, 2018

Peterborough, ON: This summer, join a tradition that connects Canadians across the country: fishing. From June 30 to July 8th, 2018, people from coast, to coast, to coast will cast their lines in hopes of catching the big one. National Fishing Week is a celebration of tradition -- a time to pass down the  thrill of this centuries-old pastime and build memories with friends and loved ones. From the first fish you reel in, to your latest story of the one that got away, fishing fosters a passion for the outdoors and our heritage as Canadians. So, get outside this summer! Visit the hidden wonders this country offers. Enjoy the sport that is both exciting and serene, relaxing and a form of exercise. Regardless of your motivations, the result is always fun. About National Fishing Week: National Fishing Week is supported by Catch Fishing, a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians to get outdoors and enjoy our angling heritage throughout the year. It is supported by federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as hundreds of organizations and businesses that work hard to ensure sustainable fishing opportunities while safeguarding fish populations everywhere. To find out more about National Fishing Week, visit www.catchfishing.com. FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES OR TO ARRANGE AN INTERVIEW WITH A NATIONAL FISHING WEEK SPOKESPERSON CONTACT JESSICA MELNIK AT JESS@IMPACTCOM.CA OR 888-296-8978.

The Shimano Fish Conservation Files – Live Release Boats

This week in the Shimano Fish Conservation Files series we look at Shimano's influence on live release tournament fishing and the boats they pioneered. 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.

The Shimano Fish Conservation Files – Live Release Fishing

This week in the Shimano Fish Conservation Files series we look at the benefits of live release 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.