Saugeen Ojibway Nation confronts effects of climate change on whitefish fishery

Bagida-waad Alliance collecting information on changes over time from local fishing families and Elders

Lake whitefish are a species of cold water fish native to Ontario that First Nations Fishing communities along the great lakes have created their livelihoods from. (Paul Vecsei via Engbretson Underwater Photography/WWF)

The fishing communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash are finding higher winds and warmer temperatures are affecting populations of lake whitefish in Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, which many rely on for their livelihoods.

Now they’re taking steps to document the changes they’ve been observing and figure out how to adapt to them.

“We know something’s happening and all the fishermen are in agreement with that. We’ve heard many times that climate change is not here yet, which is concerning because we know it is.”

By collecting this information, Akiwenzie said the alliance also trying to create a baseline of knowledge to assess when the fishermen started to notice things changing in the water. MORE


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