The U.S. and Canadian governments adopted a new Great Lakes water level management plan in December 2016 designed to create and sustain wetlands. After record rains this spring, the IJC is scrambling to explain what if any their new plan had to do with the flooding experienced on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. This week on Blue fish Radio, Lawrence Gunther speaks with the IJC’s Engineer Advisor, David Fay, about the plan and what was tried to moderate the flooding.
My input on the department of fisheries and oceans ideas on-line forum was submitted Saturday, November 25, the last day of consultations with the public through this on-line tool. My input was that:
“All fishers, commercial, native, sport and recreational now have and use innovations that allow them to fish efficiently. All stakeholder fishing groups now need equal say on how fish stocks will be managed and shared. All have an invested social and economic interest in the health of fish stocks”.
When local people work together to manage a resource and do so using science along with their own local observations, the result can be far greater than when each works in isolation. A lack of communication leads to mistrust and a race to secure their own share of what everyone now knows is a limited resource. Its pure competition and survival of the fittest. It’s why all stakeholders need to sit down together and decide together how the harvest of a resource will be managed fairly, equitably, and with a view to the future.
Canada’s Fisheries Act is under review. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is in the midst of a study that will offer recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard on ways to improve and modernize the legislation. Anastasia Lintner was commissioned by the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) to prepare a formal submission to Standing Committee recommending changes to the Act to better protect fish and fish habitat in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
On a recent episode of Blue Fish Radio, I spoke with Anastasia about the importance of using protection zones prudently, the need to include both indigenous and local voices and knowledge at decision making tables, why ministerial discretion needs to be transparent, and the importance of putting back safeguards that were removed from the Fisheries Act in 2012. Link here to hear the interview live, or visit www.BlueFishRadio.com.