THUNDER BAY, ON --- April 3, 2013 --- The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), is pleased that the Harper government created a new community fish habitat fund in the recent federal budget.
“For several years, the OFAH and other major conservation based stakeholders have urged the federal government to utilize community and volunteer based groups to help with the conservation of fisheries habitat,” said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. “The government has recognized the important economic and employment opportunities associated with the recreational fishery in Canada, which contributes more than $8 billion annually to the national economy. The creation of this fund will assist with the development and delivery of hundreds of on the ground fish habitat projects.”
The creation of a fund to improve conservation of fisheries through community partnerships is a grassroots program that acknowledges the key role that natural resources play in the development and economic well-being of the country, and recognizes the importance of protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.
“Like other conservation based organizations across the country, the OFAH remains concerned about the impact of recent reductions to the overall budget of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Despite the cuts, the federal government has assured the OFAH that the DFO will retain the necessary capacity to successfully protect and enhance fish and fish habitat for the benefit of recreational fisheries. The funding of volunteer driven community based projects across the country is a major step forward in protecting and enhancing the recreational fishery. We appreciate the support of elected representatives like Robert Sopuck, MP, a former fisheries biologist, and other Members of Parliament who understand the importance of enhanced fisheries in Canada,” said OFAH Provincial Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services Dr. Terry Quinney.
The OFAH is the largest charitable, non-profit conservation organization in Ontario, with 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 710 member clubs. As the voice of anglers and hunters, the OFAH works on a broad range of fish and wildlife conservation programs that enhance our natural resources for present and future generations.