Blue Fish News – September 27, 2021
TAKE NOTE – October 14 Webinar on “Effects of toxic substances on Great Lakes fish health, and what it means for the health and wellbeing of people and their communities”
The Toxics-Free Great Lakes Binational Network, Blue Fish Canada and the Great Lakes Fish Health Network invite you to a binational webinar on the impacts of toxic substances on the health of Great Lakes fish. Learn about past and emerging toxic substances in the Great Lakes basin, how fish health is being impacted, and what this means for human health, indigenous cultures, and the social and economic sustainability of Great Lakes communities. The webinar will engage viewers by seeking input on what federal, state, provincial and other governments need to do to address toxic substances and risks to fish and human health. Register now to hear our three guest presenters, and to make your views known!
In the September 27, 2021 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on putting a stop to Contaminating Great Lakes Fish and the need to use fish consumption advisories. As always, we include summaries and Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news, and close with a spotlight guest resource featuring the International Joint Commissions committee to address fish consumption advisories.
This Week’s Feature – Contaminated Great Lakes Fish Consumption Advisories:
By Editor Lawrence Gunther
Great Lakes contaminants in the form of pollution, plastics, waste, run-off, mercury, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and more, while unseeable, are increasingly worsening. And while we seldom if ever hear about governments issuing water drinking advisories, the same can’t be said for the consumption of fish. These advisories measure the accumulated toxins within fish and attempt to determine the amount of toxins in fish that’s safe to consume based on your age, gender, and whether you’re a pregnant or nursing mother. But, what about the fish themselves?
It’s been a while since the media reported on highly contaminated dead beluga whales washing ashore along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, or the decline of Bald Eagles when the shells of their eggs could no longer support their weight. But we hear almost nothing about the impact contaminants are having on the health and welfare of Great Lakes fish. We also have little awareness of both the cultural and health impacts contaminated fish are having on First Nations, Tribal, and Métis communities, not to mention the threat contaminants pose to the future of the most valuable freshwater commercial fishery in the world. And when Combined with the much more economically valuable Great Lakes recreational and indigenous fisheries, the total annual value is over $8 billion. For these fisheries to continue, must we accept that fish consumption advisories are here to stay?
With the support of the Healthy Great Lakes Advisory Committee, a group of like-minded individuals that I’ve been part of since 2017, I conducted consultations with stakeholders throughout the Great Lakes to document their concerns and hopes for the fish and fishing in the Great Lakes and Upper St. Lawrence River. It came as no surprise to learn that their concerns are numerous and varied but share a common thread – someone needs to recognize just how important fish and fishing are to people and their communities. These consultations led to the formation of the Great Lakes Fish Health Network in 2020, for which I serve as Chair. Link below to read the report: https://bluefishcanada.ca/resources/fish-health/
One of the Healthy Great Lakes Advisory Committee’s greatest challenges throughout the past five years is forming collaborations between water quality advocates, fish health experts, and those people and their communities who depend on fish and fishing for the social and economic sustainability of their communities. And most of all, in the case of indigenous people who are experiencing the negative impacts contaminated fish have on their cultural identity. The International Joint Commission is listening and formed a committee in 2020 to look into the concerns of Mohawk communities along the Upper St. Lawrence River. Their findings will serve as a template on how fish consumption advisories should be developed throughout the Great Lakes Basin. You can read more about the work of this IJC committee in the Special Guest Feature in this September 27 2021 issue of the Blue Fish News.
Last year I spoke with John Jackson, one of the co-chairs of the Great Lakes Toxic Free Binational Network. We are fortunate to have John as a member of the Fish Health Network as well. He’s also a member of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission’s advisory committee, and the Healthy Great Lakes Advisory Committee. John explained to me the process Canada and the U.S. follows to recognize chemicals that are emerging concerns, and then, if the science can prove a chemical meets certain thresholds, how these chemicals are then designated as a “chemical of mutual concern”. It’s at this point that governments are expected to take action. What this all means in real terms can best be expressed by John himself. Link below to hear my conversation with John Jackson on the Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.outdoorcanada.ca/blue-fish-radio-the-great-lakes-are-under-threat-from-chemicals-again/
Dr. Michael Murray, a Senior Biologist who worked for the National Wildlife Federation for over 20 years, has been tracking and studying fish consumption advisories throughout the Great Lakes. He’s identified: numerous serious shortcomings of the rules used to establish such advisories; the lack of mutually recognized rules for determining such advisories by different governments; their often-contradictory advice issued for the same fish; their lack of clear, plane and consistent language; the gaps in science that often lead to advisories being out-of-date; and more. What also concerns me is the relatively low-key approach these advisories take to convince those who catch and eat Great Lakes fish to demonstrate caution. Link below to hear my conversation with Dr. Michael Murray on The Blue Fish Radio Show where we talk about what needs to be done to bring fish consumption advisories into the 21st century, and more importantly, to end our need to issue such advisories in the first place: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e344-great-lakes-fish-consumption-adviso
Collaboration means identifying shared values. This includes recognizing and documenting stakeholder Concerns over our continuing to contaminate the Great Lakes in spite of what we know and the importance of the Great Lake’s fresh water, fish and the people who’s lives, cultures and communities rely on the quality of the water and health of the fish. On October 14 the Toxic Free Great Lakes Binational Network and the Great Lakes Fish Health Network, with the support of Blue Fish Canada and the Canadian Environmental Law Association, will hold the first in a series of webinars featuring expert panelists. There will also be ample opportunity for participants in the webinar to voice their concerns and recommendations. Our goal is to bring together both scientific experts and people with local knowledge needed to move forward on ending our reliance on fish consumption advisories now and forever. More details on how to register for the October 14 introductory / engagement webinar can be found at: https://cela.ca/webinar-effects-of-toxic-substances-on-great-lakes-fish-health-and-what-it-means-for-the-health-and-wellbeing-of-people-and-their-communities/.
I know I spend a lot of time thinking, writing, researching and speaking to people about the health of Great Lakes fish, but for good reason. Please don’t get me wrong by assuming that there aren’t plenty of amazing and influential people out there who share my concerns. The number of officially sanctioned commissions and committees alone underscores our collective commitment. However, after having spent considerable time tracking the work of these bureaucratic / political bodies made possible by their move to meet on-line during the pandemic, you should be pleased to know that there are many significant stakeholders whose issues are being discussed and responded to with millions of dollars in research and remediation. What’s missing though are the voices of the people who live by and from the water. People who catch fish, but don’t necessarily sell fish. People whose culture, social and often economic decisions are linked to fish. And unlike most all other stakeholders, people who sincerely care about the actual health and welfare of Great Lakes fish. Not because they need to fill quotas, but because they feel connected to the fish in ways that can’t be quantified.
We have now determined the economic value of the actions people take in relation to non-commercial fishing related activities, and it’s humongous, but that’s not the point. Fish health should not be measured solely by determining their economic value in terms of their capture or sale. The health of these fish means so much more. Their health and wellbeing mirror our actions or inactions, level of awareness and commitment, but most importantly, the state of our connection with nature. Having to follow guidelines to determine what fish is sufficiently healthy enough for us to consume represents an unhealthy relationship. We are putting our own needs ahead of the health and welfare of the things we love. We need to do better.
The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News
Enhanced Fishing Opportunities on Lake Ontario Tributaries / FishingWire
The New York State Canal Corporation releases water from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario Tributaries in Western New York for an extended period each fall to create a longer season and even better angling experience.
Cold Water Fisheries Survey on Great Lakes / FishingWire
While large lake trout – some weighing in excess of 22 lbs. – were the main species caught during the 2021 survey, the highlight was an abundance of lake whitefish. Lake whitefish populations in Lake Erie are increasing in recent years due to several good hatches. Worth noting was the capture of one large lake whitefish that weighed in excess of 11 pounds – larger than the state record by over half a pound!! Lake Erie is well known as a destination for its walleye and smallmouth bass fisheries, but anglers looking to catch trophy-sized lake trout that average over 10 pounds might want to add the deep waters of the Eastern Basin to their fishing wish list.
Kootenay Lake fishery in peril, B.C. Wildlife Federation says / CBC News
Biologist warns the Kootenay Lake ecosystem is ‘òut of balance’ and requires aggressive provincial intervention to save freshwater salmon and an important sport fishery. A ministry update published in January shows estimated kokanee populations swinging sharply over the last decade, from 1.25 million in 2012, to a low of 12,000 in 2019, to 90,000 in 2020.
Can new film breathe life into fly fishing industry? / Angling International
Simms and Sage are among brands backing Mending The Line. The film, Mending the Line, is currently in production, with companies including Simms Fishing Products, RO Drift Boats, Tom Morgan Rodsmiths, Bozeman Reels and Sage all contributing to the project. Like A River Runs Through It, the project is being shot in Montana, the home of script writer Stephen Camelio who, together with director Joshua Caldwell, secured Brian Cox, an Emmy Award-winner, and Sinqua Walls for the leading roles.
Election Promises and Anglers / OFAH
Amid a pandemic, a polarized nation, plenty of campaign bluster, and a wave of lofty promises, many people are wondering where things stand for anglers, hunters, and trappers post election. The OFAH breaks down who promised what.
Learning to share / Fishermen’s News
“As some who have been part of the commercial fishing industry on the West Coast can attest to, it’s not just luck and Mother Nature that fishermen and women have to contend with while plying their trade.” And with so much competition for fish within the animal kingdom, particularly sockeye salmon returning from the ocean, sometimes there isn’t enough to go around for everyone, as some parties take more than their fair share. Such a scenario led to the Wuikinuxv (pronounced “Oh-wee-key-no”) Nation indigenous people on the coast of British Columbia teaming up with scientists to collaborate on how to strike a balance between the needs of people and the needs of grizzly bears when divvying up the annual supply of spawning salmon.
Here’s what angling guides mean to the Sea to Sky economy / Squamish Chief
Corridor guides create Sea to Sky Fishing Guides Economic Study in an effort to get more sway with DFO. The recently published Sea to Sky Fishing Guides Economic Study, by Big River Analytics, concludes that the “economic benefits of guided angling in the Sea to Sky region are relatively high compared to its impacts on populations of coho and chum, spring steelhead, pink salmon and other fish. This is largely due to the sustainable, catch-and-release model of guided angling, and its growing popularity as a tourism sport in the Sea to Sky.
B.C. halibut daily catch limit increases / The Star
Daily halibut catch limits have been increased for recreational anglers, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced. Prince Rupert recreational anglers may now catch up to one halibut measuring 90 cm. to 133 cm. or measuring 69 cm. to 102 cm. with the head removed, or up to three halibut measuring under 90 cm. in length, or under 69 cm. without the head. “It’s a huge deal. There’s a lot of halibut consumed in this town,” David Lewis, Prince Rupert committee chair for the Sport Fishing Advisory Board, said. “A lot of people in this town hunt and fish for sustenance. They eat what they catch [and] they eat what they hunt. So, this helps put food on the table.”
After cod, shrimp. After shrimp? Mud / The Tyee
‘The Ocean’s Whistleblower’ tells the fascinating story of biologist Daniel Pauly’s life and work to save the world from overfishing. Pauly had played instrumental roles in the development of both Ecopath, an open-source ecosystem modelling program, and FishBase. a global fish species database. With these two tools at his disposal, he now had all he needed to study fisheries on a planetary scale over a period of several decades. But Pauly also needed lots of data to feed those tools, which ran on information laboriously gleaned from the scientific literature, and his resources in Vancouver were limited. He applied for funding from the Canadian government several times without much success. “I stopped asking them the day I received a response that said my application was excellent, but they still couldn’t give me any funding,” he says
Plastics Abundant in Great Lakes, but Questions Remain on Fish and Human Health Effects / IJC
While we know more than ever about how tiny plastics are moving through the Great Lakes and the atmosphere, there are still questions on how they affect wildlife and people. That’s according to Dr. Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry and sustainability coordinator at Penn State Behrend. “Enough plastic has been produced to cover Argentina ankle deep,” Mason said. “Of that, only 11 percent has been recycled, 15 percent has been incinerated and maybe a third of it is still in use. The rest has been lost to the environment.”
New Great Lakes Initiative Aims to Promote Sustainable Economic Development in the Region / IJC
The Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform aims to promote investments in projects that foster sustainable economic development and acknowledge the importance of the long-term management of the ecosystem to support a growing regional population. The platform was launched in January 2020 and is a collaborative effort of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability and Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance.
Is Ottawa breaking a promise to close fisheries to protect wild salmon? / Toronto Star
Watershed Watch’s Greg Taylor says it’s unclear if DFO is reneging on their promise, or if they are trying to preserve the status quo. In an apparent contradiction to the closures announced by former Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan at the end of June, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) opened a commercial fishery for Fraser River pink salmon on Wednesday until Sept.18, said Misty MacDuffee, wild salmon program director at Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
New report on the importance and vulnerability of a critical nursery habitat for BC salmon / Phys.org
A new report on the value and vulnerability of juvenile salmon habitat in the Skeena River reveals how climate change and development are critically impacting the region. Collaborators from the Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Program, the Skeena Fisheries Commission and Simon Fraser University say proactive stewardship will be key.
The lessons for British Columbia in Alaska’s epic Bristol Bay sockeye run / The Narwhal
The world’s most abundant sockeye fishery is teeming with 10 million more fish than anticipated this year. Experts on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border are wondering if the six uninterrupted river basins of the Bristol Bay watershed — free of fish farms and hatcheries but currently threatened by the proposed Pebble mine — might hold key insights for salmon populations dwindling all across the province of B.C.
Community Hatchery Program: Raising and Stocking fish through the COVID-19 pandemic / OFAH
Community hatcheries have weathered the many challenges of operating during a pandemic, continuing to raise and stock fish into Ontario waters. In 2021 the Community Hatchery Program (CHP) has been focused on helping hatcheries get through this unprecedented time while continuing to recruit new volunteers and improve their aquaculture practices.
Amended Plan Leaves More Salmon for Endangered Killer Whales in Low Return Years / NOAA
Following nearly 40,000 public comments, NOAA Fisheries is approving an amendment to the fishery management plan for Chinook salmon off the West Coast. It will make more fish available for endangered Southern Resident killer whales in years when salmon returns are low.
Miramichi Smallmouth Bass Project Delayed / ASF
More than four weeks since the effort to eradicate invasive smallmouth bass from the Miramichi watershed was interrupted by people paddling canoes in the project area, Working Group partners have decided to suspend operations until 2022.
Kokanee salmon interpretation program returns to Mission Creek and Hardy Falls / Kelowna Now
Interpreters will teach people about the importance of the spawning season, the life cycle of the Kokanee salmon and the journey they embark on each year.
Why is fish habitat important? A two-day workshop in Maple Ridge to teach it all / Maple Ridge News
Event to be organized by the B.C. Wildlife Federation. According to the BCWF, “Maintaining and restoring riparian and fish habitat is very important for the survival of fish, recharging ground water, flood protection, and supporting a diverse wildlife.” The two-day workshop will be held on Oct. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will cover topics such as importance and traditional uses of the Alouette River, stream values and classification, assessing stream quality and fish health, riparian planting and invasive species control, stream and fish passa.
Shopping for New Species / Hakai Magazine
Scientists are still landing new discoveries at fish markets.
Mowi Announces 450,000 Caged Salmon Died in Southern NL site / ASF
The company is involved with another messy cleanup of a large number of caged salmon at a relatively new site called “The Gorge” in southern Newfoundland.
CN fined $2.5 million for spraying pesticides near the Skeena River in B.C. / CBC News
The Canadian National Railway Co. has been fined $2.5 million for spraying pesticides along a rail corridor that runs along the Skeena River.
Oil Leaks into St. John River from Mactaquac Dam / ASF
Cleanup underway of lubricating oil from machinery associated with the massive dam.
“When in Drought” – What the reality of drought looks like in B.C. / The Narwhal
British Columbia has been hard hit by extreme dry conditions this past summer. B.C. has been scrambling to deal with dangerously low water levels that put watersheds under threat. The Narwhal has launched a “When in Drought” series to look at how people are working to keep water flowing to communities and ecosystems across the province.
Campbell Creek in Fredericton Flows Free / ASF
For the first time in a century, a sparkling tributary of the Nashwaak River is cascading down to that river. It now offers migratory fish a connection between spawning areas and the ocean.
Scooping Plastic Out of the Ocean Is a Losing Game / Hakai Magazine
Open ocean cleanups won’t solve the marine plastics crisis. To really make a difference, here’s what we should do instead.
Lake Links 2021 agenda now available! / Watersheds Watch
Celebrate 20 years of Lake Links Saturday, October 23rd as we learn about connecting our values with our actions so we can protect our lakes and rivers! Highlights from this year’s event include case studies from Lake Simcoe and from Dog and Cranberry Lakes, and a keynote presentation from Dr. Nathan Young, Environmental Sociologist at the University of Ottawa.
Tracking Wetland Conditions from Space / IJC
A binational group of agencies, organizations and universities has been developing a method of tracking the health of Great Lakes wetlands from space. This effort is designed to help aid wetland managers as they work to protect and restore these vital pieces of habitat for aquatic life. The satellite monitoring project uses optical photos and radar maps captured with orbiting satellites, and couples those with in-person sampling and computer algorithms.
First Nations group hopes feds stick with plan to shut down Discovery Islands fish farms / Times Colonist
Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan lost her seat in the federal election. The head of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance hopes her order to close Discovery Islands fish farms by next year will stand.
Federal officials changed tactics as lobster fishing fight heats up in Nova Scotia / Globe and Mail
Federal fisheries officers have been removed from the water in a part of Nova Scotia where a Mi’kmaq fleet is harvesting lobster outside the commercial season. The effort was meant to ease tension in the showdown over Indigenous treaty rights and fisheries regulators as tight election races unfolded in several ridings around the Maritimes – including for former federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. Mi’kmaq leaders say their communities will no longer support the Liberals because of what they see as heavy-handed enforcement measures in the treaty fisheries.
Indigenous Knowledge Helping Answer When and Where Lake Sturgeon Spawn / IJC
Lake sturgeon are one of the most iconic species of the Great Lakes. The massive fish can live as long as 150 years along the bottom of the lakes, tributaries and rivers in the system, gobbling up snails, crayfish, mussels and insects. Once they are adults, they begin looking for suitable spawning habitat. But what are they looking for? “It’s primarily three major characteristics: flow, substrate and water temperature,” said Justin Chiotti, a fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Both Western and Indigenous knowledge contribute to scientists’ understanding of the timing of, and changes to, these key factors affecting sturgeon reproduction.
B.C. fishermen say Ottawa has cast them adrift / Times Columnist
“At the swipe of a pen, the minister took all these fisheries off the table and eliminated the income for all these fishermen,” said Andy Olson, executive director of the Native Fishing Association. “It was clearly politically motivated. “There’s an election this year, and they felt that they could get some political ground by making this decision and making it seem like they were protecting salmon. Well, they didn’t protect the salmon from all the recreational fishers. Those fisheries still happened.”
Chart the Course for Future of Fishing / FishingWire
Businesses that market to multi-cultural audiences are likely to thrive in the future as demographics continue to change.
Yamaha HARMO System Advances Electric Outboard Design / FishingWire
Yamaha Marine’s new HARMO® is a complete electric boat control system that combines advanced propulsion technology, environmental awareness, future vision and proven joystick control to provide high thrust and maneuverability. While rim drive motors have been deployed for thrusters and other marine applications, this is the first application in an outboard motor.
Mercury Racing Partners with E1 to Develop Electric Powertrain for Racing Outboards / FishingWire
Mercury Racing has announced a partnership with the E1 Series to support the development of an electric powertrain for use in a future E1 Series powerboat racing championship.
Fish Art Contest Season Opener! / Future Angler
Wildlife Forever is proud to announce the 2022 Fish Art Contest is officially open and accepting entries. The free international art and writing competition is the perfect way to inspire youth in kindergarten through 12th grade to discover the outdoors through art and writing. Young people across the world can use their artistic talents while learning about fish, fishing, and aquatic conservation. Participants can win prizes; national and even international recognition. The Art of Conservation® programs ignite a life-long appreciation of fish and wildlife and serves as a powerful outlet for self-expression.
New book pays homage to North America’s rivers, including the ‘soul of BC’ / UBC Science
The UBC zoologist and avid angler’s new book, Rivers Run Through Us: A Natural and Human History of Great Rivers of North America, weaves together the social and ecological stories of some of the continent’s most important waterways.
Special Feature – IJC Project Aims to Create Fish Consumption Resource for Indigenous Anglers
By the International Joint Commission
Fish are a major resource for residents around the Great Lakes, particularly First Nations, Tribal, and Métis communities. Many Great Lakes residents support their diets with local fish, gaining an important source of essential nutrients such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and protein. But fish also accumulate toxic chemicals from the environment. Potential health impacts are not restricted to anglers, as many species of Great Lakes fish such as trout, walleye and perch are available for sale in commercial markets. In addition to facing potentially higher health impacts due to higher fish consumption rates, First Nations, Tribal and Métis communities also may experience distinct cultural, economic, and spiritual impacts, particularly in Lake Superior.
Balancing the risks and benefits of Great Lakes fish consumption is an ongoing challenge for fish consumers. Fish consumption advisories on certain species of fish in some water bodies are required as a result of chemical contamination from environmental pollution.
A wide variety of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic factors influence fishing practices, consumption patterns, and importantly, compliance with fish advisories. Many populations are concerned about fish advisories, particularly high consumers such as indigenous communities, anglers and their families.
Health advisories are also of great concern to those who are most vulnerable to the impact of toxic substances, such as women of child-bearing age and children. However, “advisories that restrict meals of local fish can have unintended adverse health consequences for First Nations, Tribes and Métis, such as loss of culture and identity, obesity and diabetes,” says Laurie Chan, Canada co-chair of the IJC’s Health Professionals Advisory Board (HPAB). Although not considered in current jurisdictional fish advisories, the board believes that the impacts of fish consumption restrictions include the perception of those being advised, site-specific data, and cultural and socio-economic factors.
Despite extensive work by many jurisdictions, fish consumption advice for the shared waters of the Great Lakes varies widely. This has impacted everyone who consumes fish. For example, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and the New York Department of Health have detailed fish advisories issued on different fish species and different water bodies. However, the advisories are often different even for the same waterbody. For example, for small mouth bass caught in the St. Lawrence River near Massena, New York, the province of Ontario suggests two to 16 meals for the general population and zero to 12 meals per month for women of child-bearing age depending on the size of the fish. In comparison, New York suggests up to one meal per month for the general population and “don’t eat” for women of child-bearing age. A Great Lakes Sport Fish Advisory Task Force developed protocols for a Uniform Great Lakes Sport Fish Consumption Advisory in the early 1990s that need to be updated.
There are multiple human health factors associated with consuming fish, such as nutrient benefits. But exposure to and effects of multiple contaminants on fish and humans, cultural values, and the availability and quality of substitutes are not evaluated as part of current Great Lakes fish advisories. Elaine Faustman, US co-chair of HPAB, notes “an integrated and balanced framework for fish consumption advisories could include many relevant risk and benefit factors.” This is why the HPAB and the IJC’s Great Lakes Science Advisory Board are partnering with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Environmental Program, along with Ontario and New York officials, to explore approaches supporting a fish consumption advisory framework that considers a wider set of factors and address the concerns of fishers and First Nations around the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC).
The collaborative project is a unique effort to provide unified guidance on balancing the risks and benefits of fish consumption advice. This unified guidance is distinct from the current constellation of advisories that overlap across borders and populations with variations in recommendations.
The St. Lawrence River AOC was selected for the case study because it is a multi-jurisdictional AOC with multiple chemicals of concern in fish. These include mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Ontario and New York, dioxins in New York, and furans in the Mohawk Council community.
The Mohawk Council community has experienced significant confusion over conflicting fish consumption advisories, which results in community reluctance to engage in traditional cultural practices involving water, fish and land. Akwesasne is subject to five different fish consumption advisories: from New York, Ontario, Quebec, the Mohawk Council (governing body in the northern portion of Akwesasne), and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (governing body in the southern portion of Akwesasne).
This project will serve as a case study for exploring potential approaches that can help reduce confusion over fish consumption advisories in a multi-jurisdictional setting and assist in ensuring culturally appropriate advisories. The project aims to explore a fish advisory framework for the St. Lawrence River; examples of recommended communication messages on fish advisories including First Nations’ perspectives and a list of recommended science and policy priorities to support collaborative fish consumption advisory frameworks for other Great Lakes regions.
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