For Immediate Release
April 3, 1998
Contact: Marc Gaden
734-662-3209 ext. 14
ANN ARBOR, MI-Minister of Fisheries and Oceans David Anderson announced April 1st that Canada will provide $6 million (Canadian) in fiscal year 1998-1999 to support the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's (GLFC) sea lamprey control and research program. Canada's contribution represents a $900,000 increase from last year and strengthens Canada's commitment to fund this successful and vital fishery management program. Canada's funds, combined with contributions from the United States, from the State of Michigan, and from other partners ensures that sea lamprey control and research will continue in 1998 and that sea lamprey control on the St. Marys River will commence.
"Research and management by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission are crucial for controlling the lamprey parasite in the Great Lakes," Minister Anderson said. "I am very pleased to announce that the federal government is increasing its support for this program for 1998-99."
"The renewed and heightened commitment by the government of Canada for sea lamprey control and the other programs of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission is tremendously beneficial to the Great Lakes fishery," added GLFC Vice-Chairman Dr. Burton Ayles. "With this promise for increased funding, we hope to solidify partnerships with the State of Michigan, with the Province of Ontario, with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and with other beneficiaries in the region."
"The long-term success of the Great Lakes fishery remains dependent on sea lamprey control, research, and partnerships with stakeholders," explained GLFC Chairman Dr. Charles Krueger. "It is vital that governments devote the resources and the attention necessary to improve and sustain the $4 billion Great Lakes fishery. I commend Canada for the funds it has provided, I compliment the State of Michigan for its contribution toward the St. Marys River control effort, and I am confident that the U.S. Government will continue its commitment to the program in fiscal year 1999."
Sea lamprey-a parasitic fish-invaded the Great Lakes in the early 20th Century and devastated the once-thriving fishery. To address this and other problems, the United States and Canada signed the 1955 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, which created the GLFC. Since then, the GLFC and its agents have carried out a sea lamprey control program that has reduced lamprey populations by 90% in most areas of the Great Lakes and has provided the foundation for a sustained fishery. The GLFC also coordinates fishery research between the two nations, makes recommendations on efforts that will maximize the long-term productivity of fish stocks, and facilitates the highly successful Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries, the plan under which the state, provincial, tribal, and federal agencies work to manage the fishery.
Sea lamprey control on the St. Marys River is currently the GLFC's biggest challenge. The large river produces more sea lampreys that all of the Great Lakes combined. Recent innovations in sea lamprey control technology-including trapping, sterile male release, and a new formulation of the lampricide-will allow the commission and its agents to achieve effective control on the river.
Funding for the GLFC is based on a cost-sharing
arrangement between the United States and Canadian federal governments; the State of
Michigan and other partners have also provided significant funds to supplement the
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