Aquaculture Regulatory Reform

Consistent with the Renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program’s objective, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is moving forward with a pragmatic aquaculture regulatory reform agenda to address barriers to industry growth while safeguarding the environment. Regulatory proposals that the Department intends to bring forward include:

Projects underway:

Atlantic Fishery Regulations: The amendments will enable shellfish farmers to better manage their growing areas by permitting harvesting and maintenance activities unique to them.

Fishery (General) Regulations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, with the support of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is proposing to amend these regulations to better align both organizations’ mandates and programs when it comes to fish health management. The proposed amendments would eliminate overlap and duplication and clarify roles and responsibilities.

Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations: The amendments would enable shellfish aquaculture operations to manage their growing areas so as to further minimize health risks from consumption of bivalve shellfish.

Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations: The amendments would enable shellfish aquaculture operations to harvest undersized (“cocktail”) oysters from their own lease areas, an activity currently prohibited under the existing Regulations. A licence provision to allow the on - and off-tenure maintenance activities of normal business operations would also be proposed.

Projects completed:

Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR): The Regulations came into force on June 29, 2015. They clarify conditions under which aquaculture-related husbandry activities are undertaken under sections 35 and 36 of the Fisheries Act. The Regulations also impose greater public reporting on the environmental performance of the sector.

Pacific Aquaculture Regulations: Amended on May 20, 2015, the amendments to the Regulations establish fees for aquaculture licences in British Columbia and also enable payment by annual installments on a multi-year licence. Licences in the Discovery Islands remain limited to one year pending further scientific assessments and regulatory work in the area.