Government of Canada invests in the ongoing prevention of invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels on the west coast

News release

February 14, 2024

Vancouver, British Columbia - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is committed to preventing the introduction, establishment, and spread of aquatic invasive species, including Zebra and Quagga Mussels. In May 2023, DFO announced $8.75 million in contribution funding over five years as part of the newly created Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Fund (AISPF). The AISPF funds eligible organizations and projects that focus on preventing the introduction and establishment of aquatic invasive species across Canada.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced funding of up to $540,000 from 2023 to 2025 for the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), through the AISPF. The HCTF is a non-profit organization that specializes in funding important conservation projects. This funding will support the ongoing work of the Province of British Columbia’s existing Invasive Mussel Defense Program (IMDP), including ongoing efforts to prevent the introduction of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in B.C.

In addition to these financial contributions, DFO is continually working on new initiatives focused on detecting and responding to reports of imminent aquatic invasive species invasions including at international borders, and facilitating on-the-ground preventative action through partnerships. DFO is also investing $90,000 to acquire two new decontamination trailers in British Columbia to support the Province’s Invasive Mussel Defense Program. These decontamination trailers will help educate the public on the importance of cleaning, draining and drying their watercraft before moving between bodies of water, in order to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Moreover, the trailers will allow DFO to support the province by conducting watercraft decontaminations when provincial staff are unavailable.

Combating the introduction and spread of Zebra and Quagga Mussels and other invasive species is everyone’s business, and requires involvement of the federal government, provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the general public. By working together, we can ensure the protection of Canada’s waterways.


“Our government is committed to ensuring the protection of Canadian waterways and their biodiversity from destructive aquatic invasive species. Providing contribution funding to recipients like the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation will allow for specialized research and partnerships that aim to stop invasive species, including Zebra and Quagga Mussels.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“HCTF acknowledges the timely funding from DFO for invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels as they are present just outside our B.C. borders and would significantly harm B.C.’s freshwater species and habitats. These funds will support many local stewardship groups that monitor over 65 waterbodies to support the provincial Invasive Mussel Defense Program.”

Dan Buffett, CEO, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Quick facts

  • Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-indigenous fish, invertebrate or plant species that have been introduced into a new aquatic environment, outside of their natural range.

  • AIS pose a serious threat to the biodiversity of Canada’s waters, economy and society. After habitat loss, invasive species are the second biggest threat to global biodiversity.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to the protection of fish and their habitat, including combating aquatic invasive species such as Zebra and Quagga Mussels, which have significant ecological impacts to freshwater ecosystems in Canada.

  • Effective AIS management is a shared priority and responsibility across federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The Government of British Columbia (B.C.) is the lead for the management of AIS within B.C.’s freshwaters, with support from DFO.

Associated links


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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