Report overshadows good news in Great Lakes

Posted on July 15th, 2009

July 13, 2009

To All Media For Immediate Release

Report overshadows good news in Great Lakes
O.F.A.H. encourages consumers to enjoy eating Ontario fish
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is urging consumers to see the bigger environmental picture in light of the release Friday of a report on contaminants in sport fish in the Great Lakes. While the report focuses heavily on areas of greatest concern, it overlooks the abundance of areas where sport fish provide an abundant, healthy and delicious food source.
The O.F.A.H., Ontario’s largest private, nonprofit fish and wildlife conservation organization, agrees that there is still much to do in cleaning up pockets of pollution in the Great Lakes, but believes the report (“Up to the Gills” by Environmental Defence) misses an important opportunity to highlight the many Great Lakes restoration stories that have occurred in recent decades. Further, the Federation points out that the report fails to point out that there are terrific fishing, and fish eating, opportunities throughout the Great Lakes, according to Ministry of Environment guidelines.¦lt;br /> “We see this report as viewing the Great Lakes cup half empty, while we see it as half full. There has been a tremendous improvement in the condition of the Great Lakes, both in water quality and the edibility of fish, and that needs to be acknowledged,” said Jeremy Holden, Fisheries Biologist for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “There is every reason for people to continue enjoying the Great Lakes for the unparalleled recreational fishing opportunities they offer, and with the Ministry of Environment’s Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish in hand, to enjoy the significant health benefits that eating those fish provide.”
Across Ontario, recreational fishing attracts millions of anglers every year, and is a significant source of revenue. Fishing provides a relaxing, family-friendly outdoor experience, while offering a hands-on education in fish species, seasons, and availability. This past weekend, Ontario Family Fishing Weekend, administered by the O.F.A.H., saw thousands of Canadian residents drop a line in 79 communities across Ontario.
The Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish is produced every other year by the Ministry of the Environment in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is available at a variety of outlets, including ServiceOntario centres, selected LCBO outlets and online at www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/water/fishguide.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 660 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.

Media Contacts:
¦lt;br /> Lezlie Goodwin
Communications Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 270

Jeremy Holden
Fisheries Biologist
705-748-6324 ext 268

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