EMAIL SENT JULY 31:
Hello Minister Keith Ashfield,
Thank you for your correspondence of July 31, 2012, regarding amendments to the Fisheries Act.
Changes to the Fisheries Act will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to focus its regulatory regime on managing threats to the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada’s commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries; provide clarity, certainty and consistency of regulatory requirements through the use of standards and regulations; and enable enhanced partnerships with agencies and organizations that are best placed to provide fisheries protection services to Canadians.
We are clarifying the rules to protect Canada’s fisheries from real threats. This includes regulating direct impacts to fish, including the death of fish, permanent alteration to, and destruction of, fish habitat, and managing threats caused by aquatic invasive species. Regulatory efforts will be directed to those impacts on fish that are part of or support commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries.
With respect to balancing the sustainability of commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries with economic development, Section 6 identifies factors that must be considered with respect to decisions of whether to authorize direct impacts to fish. These include the contribution of the relevant fish to the ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fisheries; fisheries management objectives; measures and standards to avoid, mitigate or offset impacts to fish; and public interest.
The amendments also include a number of provisions that will enable enhanced compliance and protection of fish that support commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries by:
* Aligning the Fisheries Act with the Environmental Enforcement Act (increased fines and penalties for offences);
* Improving the enforceability of conditions to Ministerial authorizations;
* Providing for the designation of ecologically significant areas for fish;
* Increasing inspector powers to provide them with additional authorities; and
* Providing new authorities to allow the Department to effectively address threats such as aquatic invasive species.
The amendments also include tools to facilitate regulatory streamlining, to increase efficiency, and to help provide clarity and certainty for stakeholders and departmental officials.
Overall, these amendments provide significant tools for ensuring the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada’s commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
Original Signed by
Ministerial Correspondence Control Unit | Unité de contrôle de la correspondance ministérielle
Fisheries and Oceans Canada | Pêches et Océans Canada
200 Kent Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0E6 | 200, rue Kent, Ottawa (ON) K1A 0E6
Telephone | Téléphone 613-992-3474
Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-990-7292
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada