Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

June 12, 2007 11:12 ET

FISHING INTERESTS URGE LEGISLATION AND SHIPPING MORATORIUM

Binational advisory committee to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission deeply frustrated over inaction

Attention: City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor BI-NATIONAL MEDIA ADVISORY:--(Marketwire - June 12, 2007) - PETERBOROUGH, ON/ ROCHESTER, NY/ CHESTERTON, IN (June 12, 2007)-Last week in Sault Ste., Marie Ontario during the 52nd annual meeting of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Canadian and U.S. committees of advisors presented the commission with a rare binational resolution urging the passage of aquatic invasive species legislation and calling for an immediate moratorium on ocean-vessel access to the Great Lakes until adequate ballast water regulations are implemented. The committee-representing recreational and commercial fishing, Aboriginal communities, public-at-large, and academia-expressed deep concern over the continued influx of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes and disappointment over the Canadian and U.S. Governments' inaction to remedy this serious problem. [A complete copy of the resolution is attached.]

"The Great Lakes have now been invaded by at least 183 non-native species, many of which cause major harm to the interests of the people I represent," said Canadian committee chair Dr. Terry Quinney of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. "The problem is, once a species becomes established, control, let alone eradication, is virtually impossible. These invaders-like zebra mussels and round gobies-reproduce, spread, and cause irreversible damage and severe economic loss."

"Despite all we know about the harm from invasive species, governmental action to stop these invasions has been woefully inadequate," said U.S. committee vice-chair Mike Ryan of the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders. "Each new invader has the potential to destroy the fishery that is so valuable to the people of the United States and Canada. By neglecting to take appropriate action, the governments are essentially placing a "welcome mat" at the doorstep of the Great Lakes inviting new invaders, and it is stakeholders like us and the next generation that are paying the price."

"The resolution reflects widespread agreement across two countries that the situation needs to change, and it needs to change now. Our resolution simply says that ballast water-the primary way in which these invaders enter the Great Lakes-must be managed, and until it is, ocean vessels are not welcome in our waters," said Dr. Quinney. "Since transportation alternatives exist, it is our responsibility to use them to protect our valuable fishery."

"The resolution presented to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its Commissioners reflects binational agreement, and advisors encourage the commission to convey our will to government in the strongest possible terms," said U.S. committee chair Ed Sander of Rochester New York.

***

The U.S. Committee of Advisors was created under the Great Lakes Fisheries Act of 1956 and is constituted to provide citizens with the opportunity to be heard on issues of importance to the health and sustainability of the Great Lakes fishery and to make recommendations pertinent to the commission's duties. Committee members are nominated to their positions by state governors and represent sport fishing, commercial fishing, and the public-at-large. The Canadian Committee of Advisors was established for similar purposes by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Canadian members are co-nominated by the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and represent sport fishing, commercial fishing, the Aboriginal community, environmental interests, and academia.
/For further information: Terry Quinney
O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish & Wildlife Services
(705) 748-6324/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES, POLITICS, SPORTS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish & Wildlife Services, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 242
    E-mail: terry_quinney@ofah.org