On April 1 the term “gone fishing” will have more meaning for people with the introduction of a one-day fishing licence. “Through our work, and the support of anglers, we have made several changes to the fishing regulations including a new one-day sportfishing licence which will be available to resident and non-resident anglers,” said Ron Chisholm, Minister of Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture. Last year more than 100,000 Nova Scotians took to the province’s many rivers and lakes to fish and this season more are expected to take advantage of the new one-day licence. Changes in regulations in the various recreation management areas have been developed through the six Recreational Fisheries Advisory Councils, in co-operation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. The one-day licence, which will cost $11.88, will allow anglers to experience sportfishing in Nova Scotia without purchasing a more expensive seasonal licence. The Nova Scotia Sportfish Fund, a portion of most fishing licence fees, provides funding for restoration and protection of fish habitat helping to sustain a healthy sportfishery. Last year anglers contributed $213,500 to the fund which, in turn, enabled 19 community groups to work on 33 watercourses in 19 watershed areas. “Community groups and volunteers contribute valuable service to our recreational fisheries and this fund provides them with resources they need to continue their excellent work,” said Mr. Chisholm. The new regulations and changes to existing regulations are included in the 2006 Angler’s Handbook and Summary of Regulations, which accompanies each fishing licence. There is no increase in any licence fees this season with seniors’ fishing licences still available at $5.75 (tax included), a general licence for the season costs $24.13 (tax included) for residents of Nova Scotia and $54.74 for non-residents. Non-residents also have the option to purchase a seven-day which costs $30.25. All anglers 16 years of age and older must purchase a general fishing licence. Licences are valid from the date of issue until March 31, 2007. Anglers who plan to fish during the winter portion of the angling season should keep their licence and return their stub at the end of the season. It is mandatory to return the licence stubs after the last fishing trip of the season. Anglers will once again have the opportunity to register larger catches in the Nova Scotia Fish Registry. This database of large and record-sized fish caught in the province is an exciting way to generate interest in sportfishing. Anglers are invited to submit fish in the catch and release, catch and keep, and youth categories. Nova Scotians are also encouraged to participate in the eleventh annual Nova Scotia Sportfishing Weekend to be held June 3 and 4. “During this special weekend Nova Scotia residents can fish without a general fishing licence. It is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy recreational fishing in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Chisholm. Information on angling and a list of special regulations by recreational fishing area can be found on the Fisheries and Aquaculture website at www.gov.ns.ca/nsaf/sportfishing .
“Children must not pay the price for the crisis in Burundi,” said UNICEF’s Regional Director in Eastern and Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala in a news release adding that UNICEF is deeply concerned about the impact of violence and increasing poverty and vulnerability on children. According to UNICEF, since the beginning of the crisis in Burundi in April, child rights violations have multiplied, with children being caught up in violent clashes and raids, schools being hit by grenade blasts and more than 100 children being arbitrarily detained, at times for long periods alongside adult prisoners. “Burundian law establishes clear respect for children’s rights, and the protection of children from violence. Such laws must be respected,” added Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala. Additionally, UNICEF reported that food prices in the region are accelerating sharply with more than four out of five Burundians already living on less than USD 1.25 a day, making it very difficult for many families to adequately feed their children. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predictions, the Burundian economy is slated to shrink by 7.2 per cent this year, adding greater strain on the Government budget and social services in the country. UNICEF also raised concern about the shortages of essential medicines for children and mothers and added that it is imperative that there is continued investment in children, from protection to healthcare, even at such times. “There is a strong case for support, now in these troubled times more than ever,” said Ms. Gharagozloo-Pakkala. UNICEF estimates indicate that more than 200,000 people from Burundi have fled into neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, including 6,000 unaccompanied or separated children. UNICEF reported that these children face mountainous terrain and security checkpoints on fleeing Burundi, as well as dangers of sexual abuse, trafficking or further violence. Additionally, large number of internally displaced, with around 15,000 people are currently residing in Makamba province on the border of Tanzania, said UNICEF. At the same time, the UN and its partners are poised for an influx in the near future in neighbouring countries, which is expected to further stretch existing humanitarian support, such as healthcare, schooling and clean water. Lastly, UNICEF said that it is appealing for USD 25 million to support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the crisis in Burundi, which can facilitate lifesaving services and supplies for children in Burundi as well as Burundian refugees in Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At present, UNICEF said that the appeal is barely one-quarter funded.