The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program was introduced in 2013 and was extended in this year’s budget with an additional $10 million in funding starting next year.
Since 2013, this conservation program has invested nearly $16 million in 280 projects across Canada to support the important work of conserving and strengthening our fisheries. The program has succeeded by bringing together like-minded partners and their resources to restore, rebuild and rehabilitate recreational fishery habitats across Canada. This is why the program has been extended with more funding.
Recreational fishing is no small fry for our economy- in 2010, sport angling generated $8.3 billion for local economies across Canada.
Through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Government of Canada invests in various aspects related to commercial fisheries, including science, catch monitoring and management plans.
The ministry has just announced funding approvals for 2015 projects and our riding will be receiving nearly half a million dollars for conservation work.
Thanks to this funding, important conservation and restoration work at Cooke Creek, the Salmon River-Shuswap Lake delta, Bessette Creek, Cherry Creek and restoration of fisheries habitat on agricultural lands will move forward.
All in all, close to $450,000 has been granted to support these projects in our riding.
Over the years I have received emails from people close to the issues around fish habitat and fish conservation calling for more action. Our government has done more than any government to protect and enhance fish populations.
Allotting the fish stamp revenue to the Pacific Salmon Foundation is one very significant action taken by our Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
Milton Friedman wrote that “one of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
Our government’s actions show we take the protection of our commercial and recreational fishery resource seriously.
-Colin Mayes is the Member of Parliament for the Okanagan-Shuswap riding.