Through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario government announced today that a cormorant hunting season has finally been approved and is scheduled to run from September 15th to December 31st. The Honourable Minister John Yakabuski made the announcement live on the fishncanada.com webcast with Ang and Pete at approximately 12:45 PM today.
This great (and long overdue) bit of news will be applauded by anglers, hunters and marine property owners throughout this province, who have long been demanding action in hopes of controlling the ever-growing population of cormorants. Minister Yakabuski said, “Since I’ve been an MPP for seventeen years, that’s one of the questions I’ve been asked repeatedly. When are we going to do something to control the cormorant population that is devastating property and islands… here in Ontario?”
But property loss is just one of the contentious issues surrounding this very efficient fish-eating machine. Ontario’s fish stocks have also fallen victim to these birds. Minister Yakabuski went on to say, “143,000 cormorants in the province of Ontario eating a pound [of fish] a day each is having a massive effect on our fish stocks.”
Although not all of the rules and regulations were announced today by the Minister, he did indicate that some standard hunting regulations will apply. “You can’t abandon the bird once it’s been harvested… and there will be a bag limit of fifteen per day.”
There are some obvious concerns that we, as the outdoors community, should have about this. As one of the viewers of today’s webcast, Calvin Pennell, stated: “Careful that you don’t try to solve one problem and create another… The optics look good, but this could get dangerous if not strictly controlled.”
In the meantime, the Ontario Government has gone where no other previous government has ventured before, and we applaud them for this bold move. Bring on the hunt!