Law and Order and Fish

Windsor, Ontario

Lake Committee Meetings: Round 1

From Tuesday, March 25 through Thursday, March 26, I attended the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Lake Committee Meetings in Windsor, Ontario. The Lake Committee Meetings primarily serve as a forum for fishery management agencies to come together and assess the state of fish communities, discuss Great Lakes issues, and plan for future management activities. Many of these meetings are open to the public.

Law Enforcement Committee Mid-Annual Meeting

The GLFC Law Enforcement Committee holds their mid-annual meeting during the Lake Committee Meetings. The Law Enforcement Committee helps facilitate coordinated fishery management through A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries. The committee is charged with protecting, enhancing, and promoting the safe use of natural resources in the Great Lakes Basin. Mark Robbins (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) is the current chair of the Law Enforcement Committee. The committee is uniquely composed of representatives from each natural resource agency with enforcement power in the Great Lakes Basin, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and others.

As a disclaimer, private, undisclosed information is frequently discussed during the Law Enforcement Committee Meeting. Therefore, it is impossible for me to share all of my observations and reflections from this meeting with you. I can share that I was most interested in a presentation regarding a new concept for standardizing collected data and information across all natural resource agencies in the basin. Apparently, each natural resource agency has their own, individual methodology for collecting, organizing, and storing their enforcement data. As a result, it can be difficult for natural resource agencies and enforcement officers to locate helpful data from other agency data and information systems. A more standardized system, used by all natural resource agencies, would likely be easier to navigate and work with across multiple jurisdictions.

LESSON #4: The GLFC Law Enforcement Committee Meetings are critical because they bring together enforcement officers from all natural resource agencies in the Great Lakes Basin.

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