Restoring lost protections to fish and fish habitat

Archived content

On August 28, 2019 provisions of the new Fisheries Act came into force including new standards, codes of practice, and guidelines for projects near water. Find out what the changes mean for you.

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated.

Restoring lost protections to fish and fish habitat

Changing the Fisheries Act

The Fisheries Act gives the government authority to manage Canadian fisheries and to protect the fish and fish habitat that support them. Learn about what we’re doing to conserve our resources, improve our tools for protecting the aquatic environment and ensure the sustainability of Canada's fisheries.

On this page

Why we’re proposing changes to the Act

On November 13, 2015, the Prime Minister directed the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to:

To meet this goal, the Minister asked the House of Commons Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada also engaged directly with Indigenous peoples and provinces and territories.

Canadians made it clear that protecting fish and fish habitat matters to them. They’ve called for strong, fair and clear legislation that sustains the aquatic environment and protects our oceans and waters.

What needed to be fixed

Some changes made to the Fisheries Act in 2012 challenged our ability to protect fish and fish habitat. Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, expressed concerns with these changes.

We looked at how to:

The proposed amendments would:

About the review

Consultation has been at the core of our review. The proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act were undertaken with the views of Canadians in mind.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) consulted broadly with Canadians, partners, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples. We received extensive feedback on restoring lost protections and adding modern safeguards through two rounds of online public consultation and numerous in-person meetings.

After both phases of consultation, DFO had:

In addition to the consultation by DFO, the review by the House of Commons Committee on Fisheries and Oceans:

All of this feedback was considered when developing the proposed amendments.

Stay connected

Follow us on twitter: @DFO_MPO (Fisheries and Oceans)

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