New Ontario livebait proposals ‘devastating’ for retailers
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A new proposal to change fishing regulations in Ontario would be devastating to the bait industry, according to sources in the Canadian province.
If passed into law, the Government proposal would restrict the movement of livebait and limit the species that can be used, along with certain aspects of personal and commercial harvest.
The changes are intended to slow the spread of diseases and invasive species in native fisheries.
Livebait sales are a key revenue earner for retailers and their loss would be a bitter blow to many. “We will end up closing our doors,” Glen Howitt of Gravenhurst Bait and Tackle, told CTV News.
Jim Leworthy, President of the Live Bait Angling Association, said the new rules would be devastating for the bait industry. “It’s going to put a lot of people out of business. For these mom and pop operations, this is their livelihood. This is their pension. This is their future.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s new Bait Management Strategy would split the province into zones. Livebait caught in southern zones would not be allowed into the northern zones in the province. But the bait industry wants economic development and tourism ministries involved in the discussion.
If approved, the new rule could come into effect by the end of the year.