Valuing Fishing in the Southern Canadian Shield: Associated Monetary Values of Ecological Services in Ecoregion 5E and Muskoka
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Canada’s abundance of freshwater systems allows for the abundance of fish, one of Canada’s most essential natural resources and greatest exports. In fact, fish are one of the most heavily monitored resources in Canada to ensure that population numbers are not decimated. To properly manage its water bodies and fish populations, Ontario is divided into twenty fishery management zones of different sizes according to the number of water bodies and the human population density – Muskoka is in zone 15. This beauty and abundance of water systems has made it a popular destination for tourism and recreational fishing - one of the larger industries in the area and a significant source of income. Placing an exact dollar value on the economic impacts of recreational fishing in an area is an incredibly difficult task. There are numerous factors that must be considered when trying to come up with an approximate figure as the fishing industry encompasses much more than the cost of a rod and reel. This report will attempt to place an approximate figure off the economic significance of recreational fishing in Muskoka. To do so, the economic factors and values of recreational fishing, the benefits of healthy waterways, native aquatic biodiversity and healthy habitats for the key fish species in the area will all be examined.