Ontario takes important first step in cormorant control
Today the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) announced that they will be introducing a fall harvest for double-crested cormorants.
OFAH members, through two decades of advocacy, have been at the forefront of requesting government control of overabundant double-crested cormorants and this fall season marks the first step in utilizing hunters to help create a manageable population of cormorants and minimize their impacts on other fish and wildlife species, as well as the habitat and ecosystems that support them.
Starting this year, the season will take place from Sept. 15th to Dec. 31st, and allow hunters to take 15 birds a day under a small game licence.
“Provincial government action has been a long time coming in the eyes of many OFAH members, and today‘s announcement reinforces the need for persistence and determination when there is a conservation concern that threatens our fish and wildlife,” says Lauren Tonelli, OFAH Resource Management Specialist.
The OFAH believes that this is just the first step in controlling cormorant populations and that more is needed from all levels of government.
“We will continue to seek additional management actions that will contribute to cormorant control where hunting or discharge of firearms is restricted such as some Provincial Parks, National Parks, and city waterfronts,” Tonelli adds. “A small fall harvest will not be enough to adequately reduce the ecological damage that cormorants cause provincially, but is a recognition that something needs to be done and gives individuals a means to begin to reduce local concerns.”
For more information, including the full government notice, please visit www.ofah.org/cormorants.