Manitoba's fur trade started more than 300 years ago. It is the oldest industry in our province and one of the main reasons western Canada was explored and eventually settled.Last year, there were over 8,500 trappers in Manitoba, showing the industry to be still strong. While species such as beaver are not as commercially valuable as they once were, others like coyote, fisher and marten continue to maintain high values.
As Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, I want to acknowledge the trappers of Manitoba for helping to manage our province's fur-bearing animals. Your efforts help to sustain these valuable resources, and you play a key role in our overall wildlife management efforts. Your industry also makes a significant contribution to Manitoba's diverse, vibrant economy.
I have spent time on traplines with Manitoba trappers. I've learned a great deal about fur bearing animals, humane trapping methods and the role that trappers play in managing wildlife and helping to lessen conflicts between humans and wildlife. This is an important issue, as coyotes and wolves are responsible for significant losses to Manitoba livestock producers each year. I encourage trappers and livestock producers to continue to work together in accessing areas to allow humane trapping efforts to prevent further losses.
This year marks the first time that trappers will be contributing to The Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund. Created in 2014, the fund was established to enhance efforts to conserve fish and wildlife and the habitats that support them. As part of the initiative, two subcommittees were formed, one for fish and one for wildlife. The wildlife subcommittee includes two trapper representatives, one representing northern trappers and the other representing southern trappers. Each subcommittee reviews applications for fish and wildlife projects and makes recommendations for my approval.
Thank you to the trappers of Manitoba for maintaining a strong historic tradition. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, and I wish you a safe and successful trapping season.
Conservation and Water Stewardship