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freshwater fisheries dead within 50 years
......... as cautioned by Prof. Dr. David Schindler in year-2000, the recipient of the first-ever Stockholm Water Prize in 1991
Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax (SWCSMH)
January 04, 2017
May. 28, 2000 Canada's freshwater fisheries dead within 50 years:
scientist --> By DENNIS BUECKERT-- The Canadian Press OTTAWA (CP))
Climate warming, pollution and over-fishing could destroy Canada's
freshwater fisheries within 50 years unless major preventive measures
are taken, says a leading scientist. David Schindler of the University
of Alberta, internationally known for his research on freshwater
ecology, made his prediction at a symposium on freshwater issues
Tuesday. He said climate warming will cause many wetlands to disappear,
disrupt fish migrations, reduce habitat for cold-water fish and promote
the invasion of non-native species
"These direct insults will interact with over-exploitation of
fisheries, dam building and diversion, habitat destruction . . . and
pollution to destroy the native freshwater fisheries of Canada,"
Schindler told the EcoSummit 2000 conference. He denied presenting an
alarmist scenario, noting that many people were skeptical when
scientists predicted the demise of the Atlantic cod fishery.
"We already have seen the cod, we have seen people accuse the
scientists of sky-is-falling scenarios there, we know that isn't true.
We see salmon on the brink. This is nothing new. These are almost
blueprints for the freshwater fishery, and unless we turn things around
it will happen to the freshwater fisheries . . . my prediction is, by
Once-rich sports fisheries in northern U.S. states like Minnesota have
already been wiped out, and the fishing limit for lake trout in Ontario
has been reduced to one from 10 during a period of 20 years. Many of
the fish caught in southern Ontario are too contaminated to eat, and
the problems are growing across the country, said Schindler. "We
already have a lot of endangered (fish) species. In Alberta, 80 per
cent of the walleye fisheries have collapsed in the last 10 years. We
have lakes the size of Lesser Slave where lake trout is extinct. It
used to be the major part of the fisheries, and it's fished out."
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are not seriously affected yet, because they
have low population and many inaccessible areas, Schindler said.
But they will soon see the same trends as logging roads are built
through northern forests, creating access for fishermen who use
powerful sonar to locate fish. The ability to take preventive action
has been greatly diminished by cuts to federal and provincial research
programs during the last decade, Schindler said.
"I feel very down every
time I think of it. I think I'm becoming a manic-depressive. We win the
occasional battle and everyone goes hurrah, but we're rapidly losing
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