Environment Ministry's permit fees hurt fish hatcheries

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
18 August 2006, at 1:00am

ONTARIO - Ontario's nonprofit, volunteer-run fish hatcheries, represented by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), are now swamped by outrageous water drainage permit fees recently assessed by the Ministry of the Environment. In at least two cases, the cost for local volunteers to operate their fish hatcheries have skyrocketed by over one thousand percent. Evidently, the Ministry of the Environment is lumping small, community-based fish hatcheries under the same legislation that regulates the activities of industrial sewage plants. "The O.F.A.H. has asked the Minister of the Environment to reconsider unfair permit fees for local hatcheries that have safely operated for years and met environmental standards," said O.F.A.H. Executive Director, Mike Reader. "Gouging fish hatcheries with outrageous permit fees is not the way the Ministry of the Environment should be treating these important local environmental initiatives. The O.F.A.H. has also asked Natural Resources Minister, David Ramsay, to speak directly with his Cabinet colleague to help rectify this serious inequity." O.F.A.H. member clubs and other volunteers are responsible for approximately 50 percent of all fish stocking in Ontario. These local conservation clubs contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year to support recreational fishing worth an estimated $2.5 billion in annual economic activity. Source: CNN