Fish Habitat Protection

About the Review

A clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. We have a responsibility to steward our resources with care, and we are committed to improving the tools we use to protect the environment and ensure the sustainability of Canada's fisheries.

The Fisheries Act gives the government authority to manage Canadian fisheries and to protect the habitat that supports them. This review will look at recent changes to the Fisheries Act and propose ways to restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards into the Act.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, along with the Minister of Transport, have asked Parliament's Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans and the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to examine recent changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigation Protection Act and to hear from Canadians.

Have your say!

Parliamentary Committee

As an independent and public forum, a parliamentary committee can hear from witnesses including experts. All Canadians were welcomed to submit briefs or ask to appear as witnesses. The parliamentary committee released their report in early 2017.

The Government of Canada provided its response to the parliamentary committee’s report in June 2017.

Next steps

In the fall of 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada launched an online public consultation seeking Canadians’ views on how to best restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards. In summer 2017, we will be coming back to Canadians again, seeking their views on future changes to policies and programs.

Other ways we are engaging Canadians

Provinces and Territories

  • We are working with our provincial and territorial partners through the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM).

Indigenous groups

  • As part of the government's commitment to renewing our relationship with Indigenous peoples, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with Indigenous groups to ensure that their concerns are heard and taken into account. Participant funding was made available in fall 2016 to ensure that groups were able to participate and express their views.

Key dates and activities

  • Fall 2016
    • Canadians shared their views at
    • Parliamentary committee began its review
    • Participant funding was provided to Indigenous groups
    • Engagement continued with provinces and territories
  • Early 2017
    • Parliamentary committee submitted its report and recommendations to Parliament
  • Summer 2017
    • The Government of Canada formally responded to the Parliamentary committee’s report.
    • Canadians will be invited to share their views on program and policy options for a revised Fisheries Act.

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  • @DFO_MPO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

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