Mr. Speaker, according to scientists, the latest victim of overfishing in Lake Ontario is the commercial eel fishery.
Forty years ago, there were 30 eels per hectare in the inshore waters of Lake Ontario. Now there is only one eel for every 5.6 hectares. Furthermore, at the height of the commercial fishery in 1980, about 225 tonnes were caught per year. Now the annual catch in Lake Ontario is less than 10 tonnes.
As with northern cod, overharvesting hastened the depletion of eel stocks. Habitat destruction, dams, seaweed harvesting, invasive species and water pollution: altogether they have taken their toll.
Therefore, as a matter of urgency, provincial, state, and federal governments should adopt the scientists' recommendations aimed at taking immediate protective action of the depleted eel stocks before it is too late.