Anglers are conservationists who lead by example.
In fact, Canadian anglers have been successfully managing natural resources for over a century.
In July 2020, DFO Minister Jordan announced that Canada was joining the Global Ocean Alliance to “protect” 30% of the worlds oceans by 2030. The method of protection would be through establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Canada also intends to “protect” 25% by 2025, including freshwater lakes and streams, Great Lakes, and Crown lands. While the initiative suggests a focus on saltwater only, Canada has quietly expanded this to include all waters and public lands in addition to coastal regions.
Normally MPAs are one tool among many. Fishery managers can use MPAs to address site-specific problems based on supporting science and field data. The first step is to assess whether or not a problem exists. However, the new approach completely ignores science-based alternatives. MPAs are being sought as an arbitrary fix-all. Where site-specific problems occur, there are proven, science-based solutions that can be applied, rather than a blanket political approach.
In order to understand this complex issue, Keep Canada Fishing, along with Shimano Canada, will be exploring North America’s successes and failures in fish and wildlife management.
Canada needs a “made in Canada” approach to restore science-based fish and habitat management. Let’s figure out how to make that happen.