Government of Canada Announces New Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations
Government of Canada News Release, June 17, 2015—Ottawa: The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that new regulations to strengthen the prevention of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Canadian waters have come into force. The Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations were posted today in the Canada Gazette, Part II and are now in effect.
The Government of Canada worked collaboratively with provincial and territorial governments to develop the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations. The regulations provide tools for both the Department and provinces to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS. They also greatly improve the ability to respond rapidly to an invasion or manage the spread of established AIS in Canadian waters.
Prior to the coming into force of these new regulations, there was a patchwork of inconsistent regulations and policies to address risks posed by AIS at various levels of government across Canada. There was no comprehensive, national AIS regulatory framework, which resulted in inconsistency across the country.
These new regulations prohibit the import, possession, transport and release of significant risk species, in specific geographic areas and under specific conditions. In the future, other species can be added or removed through regulatory amendments when necessary. The prohibition on importation would be enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Asian carp, Quagga mussels and Zebra mussels are some examples of species targeted by the new regulations.
These new measures also allow prescribed Ministers to authorize the deposit of deleterious substances to control AIS under certain conditions including the need to take into account alternative measures and possible impacts of the deposit. The regulations only allow the deposit of drugs and pest control products in compliance with the legislation of Health Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada undertook consultations with Canadians on the proposed regulatory framework for AIS and a draft of the regulations was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for public input. Input that was received from Canadian citizens was considered and aided in the development of the new regulations.
- The Government invests over $14 million annually to address the issue of aquatic invasive species in Canada.
- The regulations are designed to help prevent the entry and control the spread and establishment of aquatic invasive species in Canadian waters, including Asian carp.
- In 2012, the Government of Canada announced funding of up to $17.5 million over five years to prevent the introduction and establishment of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.
- Strong preventative action is key to avoiding or lowering costs associated with the establishment of invasive species, including costs related to reduced fishing yields, reduced tourism and tourism-related activities, control activities, loss of biodiversity, and loss of intrinsic ecosystem value.
- Read the new Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations
“The new regulations demonstrate this Government’s commitment to the fight against aquatic invasive species in Canada. We are proud of this accomplishment, in time for the summer season, and will continue to work together with the provinces and territories to prevent the introduction and spread of these species. This in turn will help protect commercial and recreational fishing industries in Canada." -
—The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
More info about Aquatic Invasive Species (Government of Canada)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada