That section 35(1) of the Fisheries Act return to its
wording as of 29 June 2012 which reads: “No person shall carry on any work,
undertaking or activity that results in the harmful alteration or disruption,
or the destruction, of fish habitat.” Remove the concept of “serious harm” to
fish from the Act.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada take an ecosystem approach to
protection and restoration of fish habitats so that the entire food web is
preserved for fish by:
- Adopting key sustainability principles;
- Protecting the
ecological integrity of fish habitat; and
- Protecting key areas of fish habitat.
Any revision of the Fisheries Act should review and
refine the previous definition of HADD due to the previous definition’s
vulnerability to being applied in an inconsistent manner and the limiting
effect it had on government agencies in their management of fisheries and
habitats in the interest of fish productivity.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada emphasize protection for
priority habitats that contribute significantly to fish production within the
context of section 6 of the Act.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada fund more research dedicated
to ecosystem science.
That protection from harmful alteration or disruption, or the
destruction, of fish habitat be extended to all ocean and natural freshwater
habitats to ensure healthy biodiversity.
To protect fish habitat from key activities that can damage
habitat, such as destructive fishing practices and cumulative effects of
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada put sufficient protection
provisions into the Fisheries Act that act as safeguards for farmers and
agriculturalists, and municipalities.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada work with the farm community
and rural municipalities to provide incentives and expert advice to conserve
and enhance fish habitat and populations and utilize the enforcement approach
as a last resort.
That permitting be expedited to allow for works that involve
the restoration of damaged infrastructure and emergency works to protect people
That the Fisheries Act should include a clear
definition of what constitutes fish habitat.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada assess and improve
communications between fisheries stakeholders and the Department’s upper
management and decision makers.
That communication within and between all levels of Fisheries
and Oceans Canada be improved.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada clearly define the parameters
of what is considered a violation of the Fisheries Act.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada should create a widely
representative advisory committee to provide ongoing recommendation regarding
the administration and enforcement of the Fisheries Act. The advisory
committee should include but not be limited to, industry groups, project proponents,
agricultural groups, municipal government representatives and commercial,
recreational and Indigenous fisheries representatives.
To broaden the Minister’s mandate to consider long-term
conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat when evaluating projects
that contravene the Fisheries Act.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada provide the Committee with a
report within two years after the revision to the Fisheries Act detailing authorization requests and decisions timelines.
That any changes to habitat protection in the Fisheries Act must be supported by a reduced reliance on project proponent self-assessment.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada put in place consistent
monitoring requirements for proponents, with clear standards and rationale.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada make investments into a
public and accessible database system that will identify:
- The location and
status of projects that have been flagged by the Department of having a
potential to cause harm to fish and fish habitat (authorizations, monitoring
results and convictions) and their cumulative effects;
- The location of
different aquatic species;
monitoring of aquatic species at risk and their status; and
- The status of authorizations.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada ensure that significant
investments are made in hiring more field personnel to improve fish habitat
enforcement, to assist in fisheries enhancement projects and to establish
positive consultative relationships with local communities.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada meaningfully resource the
monitoring, compliance and enforcement components of the Department.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada increase enforcement staff on
the ground by recruiting and retaining habitat monitors, including fishery
officers who are dedicated to habitat protection.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada ensure that habitat
protection staff are adequately trained and resourced with long-term funding
and empower field staff to do their job to protect fish and fish habitat.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada re-establish the Habitat
Protection Branch, adequately resourced to provide advice to proponents of
projects that may impact marine and freshwater habitats and to enforce
Re-examine sections 32, 35 and 36 Fisheries Act authorizations as environmental assessment triggers.
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada continue to fund fisheries
conservation and enhancement projects in co-operation with the Indigenous
communities, the agricultural communities, and fisheries conservation
That the exercise of ministerial discretion be subject to
transparency principles and public disclosure.
That the Minister, in the exercise of his or her discretionary
power over licencing, may specify conditions of licence respecting and in
support of social and economic objectives, in addition to the conservation
objectives currently identified.
That any revision to the Fisheries Act should include
direction for restoration and recovery of fish habitat and stocks.
That the Government of Canada address known regulatory gaps to
ensure that Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in collaboration with all fisheries
stakeholders, is capable of responding to all activities that are harmful to
fish or fish habitat and is able to actually determine effect (e.g. ongoing
collection of baseline data that allows determination of changes due to
That Fisheries and Oceans Canada renew its commitment to the
“No Net Loss” and “Net Gain” policies with a renewed focus, effort and
resources on restoration and enhancement of fish habitat and fish productivity
and that the Department allow project proponents flexibility to fulfill this