July 2nd – 10th, 2016 is National Fishing Week in Canada. The purpose of this week is to encourage Canadians to get out and enjoy wetting a line in one of Canada’s million lakes, rivers and streams. To encourage participation, there is no requirement for a fishing license for the two weekends bookending the week.
Independent of the week, fishing is one of Canada’s favourite pastimes for the whole family. Over 50% of every boat sold has identified fishing as the main purpose for the boat.
With this popularity, it only stands to reason that boating-related fatalities among recreational anglers constitute a significant portion of the average 130 drownings recorded each year.
Unfortunately those who fish often don’t consider themselves as boaters and, as such, boating and boating safety often take second place to the primary purpose of being on the water….to fish. This mindset also makes those who fish a difficult audience to reach with boating safety messages.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council has taken up this challenge and, during National Fishing Week, will kick-off a program called “Hooked on Lifejackets”. This initiative will focus on promoting the most basic of safe boating behaviours and one that has the greatest potential to save lives…wearing a lifejacket.
The Hooked on Lifejacket initiative will continue to expand into the fishing seasons and the CSBC welcomes feedback, input and involvement in shaping this. More information and resources are available on the CSBC website.