On June 29, 2012, the Fisheries Act was amended. Policy and regulations are now being developed to support the new fisheries protection provisions of the Act (which are not yet in force). The existing guidance and policies continue to apply. For more information, see Changes to the Fisheries Act.
Operational statements are standardized planning guidance tailored to fit the unique ecological and legal requirements in different areas of the country. The following are examples of projects that have standardized planning guidance:
Please note that not all Operational Statements will be released in every Provincial and Territorial jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, terms and conditions that afford same or better protection to fish habitat already exist and therefore an Operational Statement is not needed.
Please select the province in which you will be working to retrieve the appropriate operational statement.
The Operational Statements provide nationally consistent advice on standard measures to apply to selected activities that are low risk to fish habitat. There is no need for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to review the project when the conditions and measures in the OS are followed.
The OS enable DFO staff to refocus resources onto projects that present a higher risk to fish and fish habitat. This refocus also includes increased monitoring and auditing efforts to determine if the OS are effective at protecting fish and fish habitat.
Read the entire Operational Statement (OS) and ensure that it applies to your proposed activity. The bulleted section in the first column of each Statement describes conditions when the OS may or may not apply to your activity. For example, the Beach Creation OS only applies to freshwater systems and the Clear-Span Bridge OS only applies to bridges that are two lanes wide or less. Also review the Measures to Protect Fish and Fish Habitat section to make sure that you can incorporate these measures into your plans.
If you cannot incorporate all of these measures of the Operational Statements (OS) or the OS does not apply to your project then you should contact DFO for a review. If the OS does apply to your project, then you are asked to fill out the notification form, which is attached to the OS, and send it to the closest DFO office to you (either by fax or mail). DFO will use this information when conducting routine monitoring. It is important to keep this OS on site during construction.
If you are unable to meet the conditions or incorporate all of the measures of the OS into your project, you are asked to contact your local DFO office before starting work. DFO staff will be able to advise you on how to proceed with your project while also protecting fish and fish habitat.
You are asked to complete the Notification Form, and send it to the local DFO office in your area. (Please note that the contact information for the closest DFO offices is listed on the OS.) This information will be used to verify that you are following the measures and conditions of the OS. You should be able to demonstrate that you are complying with the OS if a DFO official arrives at the site.
You should contact your local DFO office as soon as possible. DFO staff will provide advice on the necessary steps to follow to protect fish and fish habitat.
Provincial and Territorial (P/T) regulations and guidelines often have differences in their requirements. The OS have been adjusted to support these existing P/T processes in an attempt to prevent conflict and for ease of implementation. However, the regionalized OS do not differ in their underlying principles and their key purpose is to protect fish habitat.
In certain Provinces and Territories an existing guideline or permitting process may already exist. It is important to check with Provincial or Territorial permitting agencies.
No. You will be complying with subsection 35(1) of the Fisheries Act by following the conditions and measures in the OS. You will need to verify whether you comply with other FPT legislation. Following the OS Statements only covers the requirements of the Fisheries Act.
Contact your local DFO office.