Modernized Fisheries Act now in force

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Aug 29, 2019
OTTAWA – Canada's oceans, lakes, and rivers are important to the millions of people, including Indigenous communities, that depend on them for work, food, and recreation and cultural purposes. To ensure these waters and the species that live in them are protected, in 2015 the Government of Canada committed to strengthening fish and fish habitat protections and incorporating modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced an important milestone has been reached towards ensuring the protection and conservation of fish and fish habitat. On August 28, 2019, strengthened fish and fish habitat protection provisions under the modernized Fisheries Act, as well as regulations that support these provisions, officially come into force.

These changes include:

• protection for all fish and fish habitats;
• restoring the previous prohibition against the "harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat"; and,
  restoring a prohibition against causing "the death of fish by means other than fishing".
• Updated guidance and information on these new provisions is available on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's website.


"This is the culmination of a long journey to strengthen protections into the Fisheries Act. Canada is home to the world's longest coastline and our countless lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands hold one-fifth of the world's freshwater. With a modernized Fisheries Act, we now have the right tools in place to fully protect our fish and fish habitat from coast to coast to coast."

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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