Despite that our affiliated community groups, including naturalists from the Hastings Park Conservancy and the Hastings Community Association, opposed the idea from early on of turning Hastings Park Sanctuary into a fishing hole for kids, City Hall went ahead anyway and partnered with the Freshwater Fishing Society to build a dock in the Sanctuary, and started a kids fishing program earlier this summer.
In a matter of mere weeks since the program began, the predicted threat to birds and other wildlife has already come to fruition, with a duck recently seriously injured by a discarded fishing hook (see video), as reported by community naturalist Ibycter on his blog. The duck has now had to be euthanized, according to the Vancouver Courier (July 16th): Duck death at Hastings Park pond blamed on fishing hook.
It is tragic and infuriating that the City has once again ignored valuable input from knowledgeable local community members, and gone ahead with a program that compromises our neighbourhood’s “green gem”, The Sanctuary: a unique green space cultivated for over a decade by dedicated community members and naturalists who have tracked the growing population of bird life in Hastings Park.
For further background on the issue, we previously posted additional news and community coverage here.