Invasive goldfish take over Hamilton harbour

By Tim Alamenciak - Published on Jan 11, 2016
Invasive goldfish threaten to choke out native species in Hamilton, while the U.S. government released new dietary guidelines.



Every week, talks Food Chain — snack on these policy, nutrition and food safety nuggets from around the province and beyond.

Invasive goldfish taking over Hamilton harbour

Officials in Hamilton have noticed an exponential increase in goldfish in the Desjardins Canal Fishway. The fish, commonly purchased as pets and carelessly released into the waters, can grow very large in the wild — to as long as 40 centimetres — and may pose a carp-like threat to native species such as bass and pike. In the early 1990s, counts of the fish turned up fewer than 20 a year, versus 2,500 in the fishway last spring alone. There have been schools of “millions” spotted in the harbour, according to the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Warmer weather is a major driving factor for the goldfish boom, the Record reports.

Province invests $350,000 in northern farming

The provincial government is committing more funds to the growing agricultural sector in northern Ontario. An announcement last week promised $350,000 for the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station, to keep the institution running for the next two years. The research station, whose operational funding was initially set to run out in March, tests and develops crops that grow in Ontario’s north, such as winter wheat, canola and chickpeas. Climate change, combined with rising land prices in southern Ontario, have created pressures and opportunities for agriculture in the province’s northern regions.

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Shop at Way North Foods — our prices are as high as our latitude!

A Calgary-based advertising agency has launched a campaign to raise awareness of high food prices in Nunavut and the north. Way North Foods, a fictional store created by Wax Agency, boasts basic food items that cost 10 times as much as in the south. Wax made the videos and campaign in collaboration with Feeding My Family, a Facebook group for northerners to raise awareness about high food prices. The work was done pro bono, and many of the elements of the video production were donated — including the grocery store space the agency converted into a fictional northern location, using actual advertised food prices.

New dietary guidelines cut sugar but leave red meat

The United States government has released updated dietary guidelines that call for the proportion of calories that come from sugar to be half of what previous guidelines indicate. The new target suggests that Americans consume no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The guidelines, however, do not make specific recommendations around red and processed meat, despite direction from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to do so.

Ice fishing delay costs North Bay businesses

Unseasonably warm temperatures are hitting ice fishing providers in their pocketbooks, as lakes have not been frozen enough to fish on since the season opened Jan. 1. One outfitter near Lake Nipissing  told the North Bay Nugget that his revenues are down 30 per cent over the same time last year.  He predicts that ice on the lakes may be thick enough by the weekend of January 22, but with the season’s hard close coming on March 15, every warm weekend till then means lost revenues that won’t be recouped even if this ends up being a long winter. The James Bay community has also been experiencing the downside of warmer weather, with their annual ice road delayed due to a lack of freezing weather.

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