SOURCE: Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

May 24, 2016 13:45 ET

OFAH Encouraged by Government Investment in Fisheries Science

Protection of Fish, Their Habitat, and Our Valuable Fisheries Is Paramount

PETERBOROUGH, ON --(Marketwired - May 24, 2016) - A recent announcement from the federal government on investments in fisheries science is welcome news for the fishing community.

As part of the 2016 federal budget, a $197 million investment is designed to help Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) make more informed decisions about our fisheries while also creating job opportunities in science.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has committed to a mass recruitment toward restoring science though the hiring of 135 research scientists, biologists, oceanographers and technicians across Canada.

The Department will also invest in innovative technologies geared toward collecting data and sharing information more efficiently.

"The addition of 135 scientists will help build the capacity needed in Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop informed policy that supports fish habitat protection," says Matt DeMille, manager of fish and wildlife services for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. "Having the personnel and staff to follow through on government policy is critical to its success -- in this case the protection of fish and fish habitat."

This type of investment in fisheries is a long time coming. The OFAH and our conservation partners have been vocal about DFO staffing cuts and the need to build the capacity to properly implement the new Fisheries Act.

Since 2012, when significant amendments were made to the Fisheries Act, the OFAH along with the Canadian Wildlife Federation worked together with a number of national conservation organizations to discuss the changes and provide advice to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

This group has continued to meet over the last four years and worked closely with DFO staff to have meaningful dialogue on a path forward for their Fisheries Protection Program.

"We feel that our involvement in that process has improved the policy direction for fish habitat protection and the Fisheries Protection Program as a whole," says DeMille.

The OFAH is encouraged to see a renewed investment fisheries science through this announcement. However, we want to ensure that the investment helps build sufficient freshwater science capacity, which will benefit Ontario's fish and fisheries.

"We will continue to work with DFO and our conservation partners to ensure the protection of fish, fish habitat and our valuable fisheries that rely on them," DeMille adds.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 735 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit us online at www.ofah.org, follow us on Twitter @ofah and find us on Facebook.

Fishing facts:

  • Roughly 9-million Canadians participate in recreational fishing in Canada.
  • Anglers contributed a total of $8.3-billion to various local economies in 2010
  • More Canadian adults fish than play golf or hockey combined, according to the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association
  • Angler expenditures in Canada are more than 1.5 times the total franchise restaurant sales for Tim Hortons and three times more than the total economic contribution of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver

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