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The Great Lakes are a freshwater ecosystem rich with aquatic life, but researchers warn of one dying breed — Ontario fishermen who were once prominent fixtures in their coastal communities.
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The yellow perch is a staple of Great Lakes commercial and recreational fishing, and Friday fish fries.
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The study did not investigate freshwater harmful algal blooms, which are also assumed to be increasing globally because of more nutrients in lakes and rivers and warmer water temperatures.
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The specifics of Great Lakes Tribes’ right to fish is being hammered out in court, even as state-licensed commercial fishers and the state of Michigan fight over their rules.
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“We’re not accepting the new terms,” said attorney Michael H. Perry, who represents the Michigan Fish Producers Association.
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Great Lakes tribal fisheries were included in the $30 million allotted for tribal fisheries nationwide. Another $15 million was set aside for “non-tribal commercial, aquaculture, processor and charter fishery participants” in Great Lakes states.
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The collaborative will study how much consumers would pay for local fish and emphasize buying local.