The modernized Fisheries Act, Bill C-68 passes Parliament
June 20, 2019
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada’s oceans, lakes and rivers are important to the millions of people and Indigenous communities that depend on them for work, food, and recreation. However, changes that were made to the Fisheries Act in 2012 challenged our ability to protect fish and fish habitat. Canadians, including Indigenous peoples as well as industry and environmental groups, expressed concerns with these changes and how they were made. That is why, in 2016 the Government of Canada took action to strengthen and restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that Bill C-68, an Act to amend the Fisheries Act passed Parliament.
Bill C-68 reflects the views of Canadians and will help ensure our fisheries can continue to grow Canada’s economy, protect our ecosystems and sustain coastal communities. Further, this bill will see the end to whales in captivity as well as the banning of shark finning and the import and export of shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass.
A modernized Fisheries Act will benefit all of Canada:
- For our environment, it will provide strong protections for all fish and fish habitat, and will put a priority on rebuilding fish stocks and restoring habitat.
- For industry, it will bring more clarity around project development.
- For Indigenous peoples, it will strengthen their role in project reviews, monitoring and habitat decisions.
- For our communities, it will keep the benefits of fishing in the hands of independent fish harvesters and their local area.
Following the passage through the Senate, Bill C-68 now awaits Royal Assent before it can officially become an act of Parliament and become law. Once a modernized Fisheries Act is in place, we can better support the sustainability of Canada’s marine resources for future generations.
“I’m so pleased this very important piece of legislation is one step closer to becoming law. 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. Our government is working hard to protect fish and fish habitat from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and the modernized Fisheries Act will do just that.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Government of Canada announced its intention to propose amendments to the Fisheries Act in 2016. The proposed Bill C-68 was tabled in Parliament on February 6, 2018.
In developing Bill C-68, the Government of Canada consulted broadly with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, industry stakeholders, environmental non-government organizations and the public to discuss planned amendments to the Fisheries Act.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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