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Sport/recreational angling and native groups should all be at the table when taking fishery management decisions

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.

Luc Girard Citizen Scientist

Luc Girard is one of those amazing committed anglers who spends just as much time engaged in stewarding the St. Lawrence River as he does chasing their elusive monster Musky. He recently caught a 56-inch Musky and many expert Musky anglers believe the river will eventually turn up the next world record.

Fishing the St. Lawrence with Mohawk Norman Peters of Akwesasne Part-1

The St. Lawrence River, which the Mohawks call Kaniatarowanenneh or the “big waterway,”, has a rich heritage of aboriginal life and habitation that includes fishing and traveling on the River that dates back nearly 10,000 years. Norman Peters has been tasked to share his knowledge and expertise with a entirely new generation of Mohawks who grew up disconnected from the river. Norman came aboard Lawrence’s Ranger Fisherman for a day of story telling and fishing. Learn what happened that caused this break with the River and what is being done to reconnect young people as Norman and Lawrence enjoy a day of fishing.

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