Last week our federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced closure of several sections of Nova Scotia’s
St. Mary’s River to all fishing again in 2012.
This decision and the closure of the catch-and-release
salmon angling fishery are based upon DFO’s controversial salmon population assessment data that is widely disputed
by community residents and observers.
DFO also announced that
their Mersey Biodiversity Facility, near Liverpool NS, will close by 2014. The former Mersey hatchery works in conjunction
with the one in Coldbrook NS as a hatchery and gene bank for Atlantic salmon and the endangered Atlantic whitefish.
This move strangely comes as DFO considers endangered status for salmon populations from Nova Scotia’s South and Eastern
Shore streams. It is also considered likely that Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy endangered salmon populations will disappear
without live gene banking support.
New fish farms in Nova Scotia require
approval by our provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the federal DFO. Both continue to approve and support
these fish farms despite overwhelming evidence that they are likely to harm our remaining valuable wild fish populations,
the lobster and crab fisheries, and small business and tourism interests in the region.
Canso residents are worried that their DFO office is being considered for closure, despite the
importance of fisheries protection in the region.
In all of this
we see the continuing requirement for government support for Nova Scotia’s rural communities and recovery of wild fish
populations that DFO is responsible for.
Both provincial and federal governments
really should be a lot more supportive of Nova’s Scotia’s valuable tourism and wild fishery resources, especially
given the uncertain future of our forestry industry.
This Saturday, June 23, 2012, the Eastern SportFish Association (ESA) hosts a fishing derby at Nimrod’s
Rest Campground on Hwy 211 near Sherbrooke NS. Derby time is 8 am – 12 noon. Rain date is Sunday, June 24.
There will be contests, prizes and a barbeque.
All are welcome.
Derby highlights will be posted
and updated on ESA’s website, www.sportfishns.