Friday, 14 April 2017

The Strictest Laws in the World? WRONG - Updated April 20, 2017

Weak Laws for Fish Farms, Not Strong for Salmonids.

This post brings together the posts I have written on weakening laws for fish farms and business in the past five years. Don't let them tell you they operate under 'the strictest laws' in the world. That's simply spin.

Below is a long list. Read it and take the link for your own reference. And say: 'not so fast, Slim' when fish farms claim strictness, then hurl this long list at them. I think it will stick.

But first, here is a Hakai Magazine article, written by Erica Gies, from April 5, 2017 on legal weakening and failure to enforce the laws by DFO:

The HADD provision has been central to protecting habitat:

"In 2012, Canada’s governing Conservative Party made a number of controversial changes to the federal Fisheries Act, including weakening protections for fish habitat. One focus of the party’s ire was a principle dating to the 1980s: a prohibition against “the harmful alteration, disruption, or destruction of fish habitat,” known as the HADD provision. Its policy objective was to ensure that, with any development proposal, there is a “net gain of habitat for Canada’s fisheries resources.”"

And Harper weakened it even though DFO had seldom enforced the provision.

"But was the original law actually a burden to industry? According to new research by Favaro and Olszynski, the answer seems to be no: even with the principle for net gain spelled out, Fisheries and Oceans Canada was scarcely enforcing the rule."

So strict laws mean nothing, if they are not enforced.

"Combined, the 78 projects Olszynski and Favaro reviewed from just that six-month period resulted in a net loss of almost three million square meters of fish habitat."

"the federal Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is currently reviewing the changes made to the Fisheries Act in 2012...

In its initial report published in February 2017, the committee recommended that DFO “renew its commitment to the ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ policies.”

Note that DFO doesn't enforce Canada's weak legislation because the Conservation and Protection budget is so low there aren't enough officers to go around, not to mention that recently, the very few charges brought resulted in Department of Justice not going forward because they thought they would lose the case because of how poorly DFO did.


Now, here is the list of posts:

1. Key Document: Royal Society of Canada - DFO Failing Canada's Oceans - a stinging indictment (February 2012):

2. Most Stringent Fish Farm Laws In the World (December 2013):

3. Weakening the Strictest Fish Farm Laws In the World (May 2014): Note that it mentions the Nancy Greene posts as well, just a week before.

4. New Aquaculture Regulations in Canada - Very Sad for Wild Pacific Salmon (July 2014):

5. Aquaculture Activities Regulations - Canada (October 2014):

6. Key Document: The Strictest Laws in the World? Not in Canada (November 2014):

7. Canada: Strictest Laws in the World? No. Best Science? No. Weakest Laws in the World? Probably (December 2014):

8. Summary: Fish Farm Environmental Laws Weakened by DFO and Harper Government (December 2014) You will want the good links in this one:

9. Norway to Make Laws Stricter, Not Looser Like in Canada - Shame on Shea (February 2015):

10. Seventeen Ways the Government Is Helping Kill Wild Salmon (May 2015):

11. Stephen Harper Government Eliminates Environmental Laws for Fish Farms (July 2015): There are some good links in this one that you will want.

12. Fixing The Fisheries Act - West Coast Environmental Law (April 2016):

13. Bill C-228 - Liberal Government Stands Against Pacific Salmon. This is Fin Donnelly's bill to get fish farms out of the water. (December 2016):

14. Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws - Righting the Wrongs of the Harper Era (March 2017): This one has the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report. It made 32 recommendations, and they are in the post.

15. Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean Rivers (March 2017). This one has the Atlantic Salmon Federation study on the laws in individual Canadian provinces, the USA and Norway, finding, for example, that in NB, the laws reach only 45% of the ASC requirements (And the ASC's are weak themselves): In this one, go look at the ASF graphic of how poorly the various provinces, USA and even Norway does in meeting the weak ASC standard. The link is:


Here is another article on the subject:

Here is a Dalhousie University study from 2017:

Friday, 7 April 2017

Tell COSTCO, Safeway, Loblaws et al to Stop Selling Farmed Salmon

Hi Everyone

Please go sign the petition to have stores stop selling farmed salmon:

And ask others to sign the petition, as well.

In a nutshell, Norwegian fish farms, Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood have a good dozen problems, and should be on land, where the rest of the industry is now moving - for environmental reasons and because consumers won't buy farmed fish anymore.

Go look at Atlantic Sapphire which is building an on-land farm in Florida. At 90,000 metric tonnes per year, it will be larger than the entire BC industry (and BC is bigger than the Atlantic Canada industry - so far), which is 85,000 metric tonnes.


And, of course, my post on the on-land RAS farms now tops 178 different on-land systems, comprising almost 20,000 actual, on-land fish farms. See: This is the all time, number one post on this site. I don't think anyone else in the world has built up such a long list as I have.

Note that the post also has an extensive list of supporting documents covering all aspects of on-land fish farming. The point is that the only reason fish farms want to be in the ocean is to use it as a free, open sewer. Even Norway is fed up with its own companies, and now offers free licences to set up on land.

If you don't want to sift through the research and financial documents, quickly scroll down about two thirds of the way, to start the list of 178 on-land fish farm systems.

And do check out Alex Morton's site that has very good links to the issues and science, in particular to ISA, PRV, HSMI, and other diseases brought to wild salmon by fish farm companies that are a vector for mutating diseases.

See: It has hundreds of articles for you to read.

Note that if you live in a jurisdiction that has fish farms in the water, bring together the citizens and consistently tell governments - who are hopelessly conflicted, that includes DFO, the CFIA and both federal and provincial governments in Canada - that you want fish farms out of the water.

Right now, in 2017, NL faces an unprecedented raft of 11 licences for Grieg wanting Placentia Bay and some 23 for Marine Harvest. They would never try that in BC - where we have been complaining loud and clear and for as long as it takes to get the pestilence of fish farms out of our ocean - and you have to make your protest as large and as long as you possibly can to get the industry out of your pristine ocean.

Atlantic Sapphire is the bell that tolls for Canada, as BC, et al will no longer be able to sell into the USA. And with Trump, he may just end up with a tariff on Canadian salmon, just as the USA had one of 26% on Norway for two decades.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Neoliberalism - Government Conflict of Interest, Norway, NIFES

Hi Justin/Dominic:

This article speaks for itself, taken from the Norwegian press, April 4, 2017:

The article has been translated in better than Google-speak, so read it and know that the Norwegian press doesn't like fish farms. If Norway doesn't like fish farms, what does that tell you for citizens in the rest of the world? It tells you that nobody likes fish farms. They need to get out of the water and raise vegetarians. Justin, Dominic are you listening in the far off country of Ottawa?

"From 4 April 2017: "Hacking Research" [Norway]

"Researchers at the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Safety (NIFES) have used various parts of the fish to arrive at a conclusion that farmed Atlantic salmon has less pollutants than wild Atlantic salmon. It creates huge reaction and criticism.

By Marit Langseth, Journalist and Kjartan Trana, Journalist

- If we look at the study design that lies behind the results that have been made, so there are major deficiencies in it, and there are several things that are alarming, says professor of toxicology Anders Goksøyr, at the University of Bergen.

It caused a sensation when NIFES stated that farmed salmon has less pollutants than wild salmon. Now it turns out that the institute used different procedure between the wild and farmed salmon for the analysis, something NRK news has been investigating.

Whole fillets of wild salmon were used and only a select part of farmed salmon were sampled to make a comparison.

Goksøyr was shocked that different parts of the fish were used in the assay to compare wild and farmed salmon.

- In the wild salmon, they used whole fillet, while in farmed salmon, they only used part of the fillet called the "Norwegian Quality Cut" or NQC.

Theoretically, the section of farmed salmon contains less pollutants than the whole fillet of wild salmon used in the analysis. NIFES explains that they used what they had available for wild fish.

- Farmed salmon are part of an annual monitoring program where the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (FSA) takes samples of farmed salmon, with just the NQC cut. In the project on wild salmon, we had the whole fish available, says the head of the research project, Anne-Katrine Lundebye at NIFES.

- Would not it be desirable to have the whole fillet on both, so that the underlying data was exactly the same?

- Yes, but that is not what we here. It is very expensive analysis, so the sampling and analysis was already done previously, so we just used figures that were available.

Read also: - Irrelevant to compare wild salmon with farmed salmon Aggregate samples and individual samples

Goksøyr also reacts to the fact that there is no specified age specified for the fish used in the survey, when we know that contaminants accumulate with time.

In addition, he notes that in collecting samples of farmed salmon, they use an average of five salmon, while the wild salmon, they used single whole fish samples.

Lundebye explains that this is due to EU standards which samples were taken in collecting samples.

- While to know more about the variations between individuals, which we had the opportunity in wild salmon study, we analyzed the individual, she says.

Anne-Katrine Lundebye led research on toxins in wild and farmed salmon.

NIFES is linked to the Ministry of Industry and Fisheries Ministry. Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg said last year that the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) will be an aquaculture industry-friendly Institute, and the Institute will share the political ambitions of growth of the seafood industry.

- Is this what we face here?

- I do not have contact with the fishing minister, and will not say that this is business friendly. We have written an article based on the findings we found, says Lundebye.

Goksøyr will not comment on that, but points out that in other instances the approach used might would have had problems to publish such research."

Hmm. Garbage in, garbage out.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Placentia Bay Fish Farm - Government Duped, Conflicted, Up dated April 2, 2017

Hi Justin/Dominic/Dwight 

I pass on to you the comments I made to Owen Myers, lawyer in the NL court case, Mark Quinn at CBC, writing on this subject  and Kenn Oliver of The Telegram: 

I send along a note that I put on Fishers Against Fish Farms, that I took from my own blog: My site has become a global portal for fish farm environmental science damage, and will exceed 300,000 page views in the next couple of weeks. 

You should know that there is more than simply environmental concerns with this mega-development. 

Here is the text: 

350. 'Conflict of Interest - NL, govt expenditure of $45m into Grieg, Placentia Bay dev is a conflict of interest by a government who has to regulate the industry.’ I should add that in Norway, the auction cost of the 11 in-ocean licences would be an $88- to $121-million outlay for Grieg, not 11 free licences plus $45 million. They know perfectly well that fish farms are a licence to print money and any government that would charge zero and add $45m, thus conflicting itself, is an idiot. See: “

Grieg Seafood, Marine Harvest and Cermaq have been part of the speculative licence situation in Norway for more than 30 years. Kjersti Sandvik’s book, Beneath The Surface, Glydendal, Norway, goes over this history, and the millions made by applicants who then sold the licences to others and made big bucks for doing nothing. At 23- to 25-% profit margin, it is a gold mine to have a licence.

The point is that the federal govt and NL government have not done their basic homework, and should be charging millions for each licence here, not falling for the disingenuous calling for funding because the development can’t go ahead without out it. That’s bull and Grieg knows it.

On the environmental side, two things: I have figured out that a fish farm kills 113 forage fish to bring one farmed salmon to harvest, in an industry the size of BC that means 5.76 billion killed fish for one harvest; also, the sewage cost is enormous. In BC, I estimate it is $10.4 billion that we taxpayers absorb. The same size of figure can be anticipated in NL. 

If you need more info or how to calculate the figures for NL, let me know.

DC (Dennis) Reid


Updated, April 2, 2017: The evidence suggests that the cost of an in-ocean licence in Norway is even higher than the earlier auction price above:

"No new licenses have been awarded since 2014 [in Norway], when SalMar bid NOK 66 million for a license [$10.56 million Canadian]. Since then, the Seafood Index (OSLSFX) has doubled, suggesting the market value of a license is also higher.”

This means for the 11 licences Grieg would have had to pay in Norway, if indeed any were allowed for in-ocean, would be $10.56M X 11 = $116.2 million. Why are they not charged in Canada? Why does anyone think charging zero is reasonable, and then adding an additional $45M to sweeten the already sweetened deal? This is a $161 million subsidy for Grieg. Does any taxpayer want this for an industry that uses the ocean as a free open sewer?

Friday, 24 March 2017

March 2017 - Most Popular Posts on Fish Farm News

I have been posting the most popular posts of the month since October 2016. Look on the first day of the succeeding month (or close to it) for the lists.

For March 2017, the most popular post by a large margin is this one: Liberals Deal Body Blows to BC. Justin Trudeau and Dominic LeBlanc don't get that salmon are as important to BC as French is to Quebec. Go and read the post as it has a good list of references, including to the survey that proves that salmon are that important to BC.

The other thing that has come clear in 2017 is that in-ocean fish farms are on the run nearly all around the world. The most recent place is Tasmania where residents are complaining that they need to be on land. Ottawa just doesn't get that the BC industry is an out of date dinosaur. The Atlantic Sapphire, 90,000 mt fish plant to be built in Florida, will be bigger than the entire BC industry and is going to eliminate BC's sales into the USA, more than 50% of its business.

As before, the most-often-read posts are near the beginning. This does not make them anymore important than the other posts, simply an indication of the global audience's preferences in March, 2017. Examples of very important posts toward the end are: 7. Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws; and, 11. ISAV in BC but DFO, the CFIA and BCMAL Can' Find Disease. Here are the posts:

1. Liberals Deal Body Blows to BC - fish farms, Kinder Morgan, environmental issues, good references: Will BC fight? Just watch us.

2. BAD NEWS BITES - more than 300 bad news stories about the global fish farm/seafood industry, since January 14, 2017. More than 1,400 bad news stories since July, 2015: Scan the bold faced text to see a quick list of the litany of problems

3. The Future of On-Land Fish Farms is Now:

4. The Future of Aquaculture - On-Land Fish Farms - The Future is Now:

5. Fish Farm Companies Make Taxpayer Money from Diseased Fish. No taxpayer in Canada wants to pay a bean to a company dumb enough to kill its own fish with diseases that can be totally avoided by putting farms on land: Note that this is a post from 2013. Looks like a lot of fish farms companies are reading this one, as in perhaps something we taxpayers don't like may be about to happen.

6. Versinia Resembles Bubonic Plague - Brought to you by Fish Farms: 

7. Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws - Righting the Wrongs of the Harper Era:

8. Scandal of 45 Lochs Trashed by Pollution - from fish farms, Scotland:

9. Fish Farm Diesel Spill in Pristine Ocean:

10. Key Document - Dr. Kristi Miller - Diseases and Fish Farms:

11. ISAV in BC but DFO, the CFIA and BCMAL can't find disease:

12. Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean rivers:

Environment Ruined by Fish Farms - Chilean Rivers

I have mentioned before that Chile is widely considered the dirtiest country with respect to fish farms in the world. I will soon do a post on the false claim by fish farms that they operate under 'the strictest laws' in the world in every country in which they operate. Marine Harvest, Cermaq and Grieg Seafood are the cartels, er, consolidated companies, that operate in most of the world.

The Atlantic Salmon Foundation has done a good study on the subject in BC, NB, NS, NL, Maine USA and Norway. The study is here: It is a lot of reading, but you keeners will dive right in.

New Brunswick comes in at 45% of the ASC standard. NL is 50%. Maine is 59%. NS is 64%. BC is 69%. Norway 82%. When you consider that with more than 1100 fish farms Norway constantly has lice, sewage and disease issues, it suggests that the ASC isn't really a difficult measure, and yet there is an almost 40% difference between bottom and top, and no one is stellar. Please note that I have pointed out that the WWF's ASCs have a pretty significant hole in them; that is they allow in-ocean, open net fish farms as sustainable, something that is patently false.

You will note that Chile doesn't even make it on the ASF study (not the ASCs) list. And it is with great sadness that I have noted the country is so polluted, fish farms are trying to get away from their own sewage and disease by moving into one of the world's most hallowed, pristine areas: Patagonia, something that should not happen. The strong word that applies is: this is a travesty.

Things are so bad in Chile - you will remember the 13,000 people who lost their jobs in the ISA disease crisis of 2008 where $2 billion was lost, and the 5,000 people who lost their jobs in 2016, less than 10 years later, to an algal bloom caused in part by fish farm's own sewage and dumping their own dead fish too close offshore, the El Nino not seen to have raised the ocean temperature, hence not contributing to the algal bloom. In this one, in 2016, Chile lost 38.2 million farmed salmon and helped dent the world supply 8.7% (along with Scotland and Norway whose lice were so bad, they also had large fish losses. You will. of course remember that Scotland calls itself the best organic farmed fish in the world. Sad, but true, and they spent more than $480 on lice chemicals in 2016. Organic? I think not.).

Now there is a paper out on fish farms polluting rivers in Chile - and those rivers flow into the ocean, of course. Fish farm hatcheries are on shore, but use pristine river water that they then dump back into the river full of sewage, chemicals, antibiotics and so on. This is sewage with no sewage treatment.

You can read a several page summary of the Chile sewage article on this site:

Here are a few quotes from it:

1. "40 tonnes of dissolved organic substances end up in the rivers for every 50 tonnes of farmed salmon." Yes, you got that right. For every five tonnes of fish, they release four tonnes of sewage. That is what is passing into any lake or river used for fish farm hatchery purposes - in the world - unless, of course, they actively pick up sewage. In BC on Van Isle they are congratulating themselves on picking up the sewage under the Georgie Lake net on Van Isle: Golly gosh, I'm almost  shedding sentimental tears. Lovely spin Marine Harvest. On the other hand, there is the vast percentage that pollutes the water, and rivers down stream.

2. "In particular, much higher concentrations of carbohydrates, proteins and their building blocks, and lipids are present downstream of the facilities. The aquacultures therefore provide the low-nutrient rivers with a kind of fertilizer boost." This is a polite way of saying they are polluted with sewage.

3. "Nevertheless, rivers should not be misused as natural sewage treatment plants," emphasises Norbert Kamjunke." Really, who'd a thunk it?

4. "The researchers also draw another conclusion from their study. They do not consider it advisable to install any further aquacultures on Chilean rivers. The authorities have already imposed a moratorium on new salmon farms in the country's lakes. Operators are now considering the option of moving the farming of medium-sized salmon from the lakes to the rivers. "In theory that could work," believes Norbert Kamjunke. "But from an ecological perspective, it would not be a good idea."" You will note the strategy is: if the lakes we use are polluted with our sewage, let's move to pristine rivers and pollute them. Hmm, good strategy.

So, in summary, you can add to Chile being the dirtiest fish farm country in the world, by adding that they are not only killing the world's oceans, they are killing their own rivers, and, of course, estuaries because all rivers flow to the sea. And isn't Patagonia a world treasure for all of humanity? I would say so.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Habitat Protection and Changes to Laws - Righting the Wrongs of the Harper Era - Updated April 7, 2017

The West Coast Environmental Law NGO has put together a good document summarizing where we are now with trying to force Trudeau's Liberals to change the Steve Harper rape of our Fisheries Act, environmental assessment legislation and etc. See:

We should not be having to push Trudeau, but he has come out against wild Pacific salmon, and approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline, a huge fight that will come on the ground in the country, er province, of BC. His DFO minister Dominic Leblanc is against wild Pacific salmon and like the newbie he is refuses to get fish farms out of our - not Ottawa's - water, falling for the jobs and revenue spin, that has never actually happened in any of the more than a dozen countries where there are now fish farms.

After looking at the issues for four decades now, I would say the four major problems with wild salmon in BC are: habitat restoration, DFO, fish farms and climate change.

Habitat restoration is far and away the most important of the four because if there is no place to spawn, salmon are dead in the water. The most useful program is to increase the halibut stamp on sport licences to $24 with all of it going to the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) because they can leverage every dollar between 4 and 7 times with the public and business who are willing to help. The take would be about $7.2 million.

If DFO just left the field, but gave the PSF an annual bump of $7.2 million and the province of BC matched it, the PSF would have $21.6 Million each year to leverage 4 to 7 times, which is a good beginning to real habitat restoration in BC. Just one item, there are more than 250,000 culverts on salmon bearing water in BC, about 70,000 requiring immediate action.

The other thing achieved by the matching funds is that control over habitat restoration would come back to BC where it has always been needed, rather than the far off nation of Ottawa.

In addition, you should know that the federal Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries and Oceans' report reviewed the Fisheries Act to reinstate habitat protection for fish. See:     
It made 32 recommendations. You may read them here:

Or you may read them here:

[[And please go read an article from Hakai Magazine on these issues, particularly DFO not standing up for fish habitat:]]

Recommendation 1

That section 35(1) of the Fisheries Act return to its wording as of 29 June 2012 which reads: “No person shall carry on any work, undertaking or activity that results in the harmful alteration or disruption, or the destruction, of fish habitat.” Remove the concept of “serious harm” to fish from the Act. 

Recommendation 2

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada take an ecosystem approach to protection and restoration of fish habitats so that the entire food web is preserved for fish by:
  1. Adopting key sustainability principles;
  2. Protecting the ecological integrity of fish habitat; and
  3. Protecting key areas of fish habitat.
Recommendation 3

Any revision of the Fisheries Act should review and refine the previous definition of HADD due to the previous definition’s vulnerability to being applied in an inconsistent manner and the limiting effect it had on government agencies in their management of fisheries and habitats in the interest of fish productivity. 

Recommendation 4

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada emphasize protection for priority habitats that contribute significantly to fish production within the context of section 6 of the Act. 

Recommendation 5

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada fund more research dedicated to ecosystem science. 

Recommendation 6

That protection from harmful alteration or disruption, or the destruction, of fish habitat be extended to all ocean and natural freshwater habitats to ensure healthy biodiversity. 

Recommendation 7

To protect fish habitat from key activities that can damage habitat, such as destructive fishing practices and cumulative effects of multiple activities.

Recommendation 8

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada put sufficient protection provisions into the Fisheries Act that act as safeguards for farmers and agriculturalists, and municipalities. 

Recommendation 9

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada work with the farm community and rural municipalities to provide incentives and expert advice to conserve and enhance fish habitat and populations and utilize the enforcement approach as a last resort. 

Recommendation 10

That permitting be expedited to allow for works that involve the restoration of damaged infrastructure and emergency works to protect people and communities. 

Recommendation 11

That the Fisheries Act should include a clear definition of what constitutes fish habitat. 

Recommendation 12

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada assess and improve communications between fisheries stakeholders and the Department’s upper management and decision makers. 

Recommendation 13

That communication within and between all levels of Fisheries and Oceans Canada be improved. 

Recommendation 14

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada clearly define the parameters of what is considered a violation of the Fisheries Act.

Recommendation 15

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada should create a widely representative advisory committee to provide ongoing recommendation regarding the administration and enforcement of the Fisheries Act. The advisory committee should include but not be limited to, industry groups, project proponents, agricultural groups, municipal government representatives and commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries representatives.

Recommendation 16

To broaden the Minister’s mandate to consider long-term conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat when evaluating projects that contravene the Fisheries Act.

Recommendation 17

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada provide the Committee with a report within two years after the revision to the Fisheries Act detailing authorization requests and decisions timelines. 

Recommendation 18

That any changes to habitat protection in the Fisheries Act must be supported by a reduced reliance on project proponent self-assessment. 

Recommendation 19

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada put in place consistent monitoring requirements for proponents, with clear standards and rationale.

Recommendation 20

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada make investments into a public and accessible database system that will identify:
  1. The location and status of projects that have been flagged by the Department of having a potential to cause harm to fish and fish habitat (authorizations, monitoring results and convictions) and their cumulative effects;
  2. The location of different aquatic species;
  3. Up-to-date monitoring of aquatic species at risk and their status; and
  4. The status of authorizations.
Recommendation 21

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada ensure that significant investments are made in hiring more field personnel to improve fish habitat enforcement, to assist in fisheries enhancement projects and to establish positive consultative relationships with local communities. 

Recommendation 22

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada meaningfully resource the monitoring, compliance and enforcement components of the Department. 

Recommendation 23

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada increase enforcement staff on the ground by recruiting and retaining habitat monitors, including fishery officers who are dedicated to habitat protection. 

Recommendation 24

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada ensure that habitat protection staff are adequately trained and resourced with long-term funding and empower field staff to do their job to protect fish and fish habitat.

Recommendation 25

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada re-establish the Habitat Protection Branch, adequately resourced to provide advice to proponents of projects that may impact marine and freshwater habitats and to enforce compliance. 

Recommendation 26

Re-examine sections 32, 35 and 36 Fisheries Act authorizations as environmental assessment triggers. 

Recommendation 27

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada continue to fund fisheries conservation and enhancement projects in co-operation with the Indigenous communities, the agricultural communities, and fisheries conservation organizations.

Recommendation 28

That the exercise of ministerial discretion be subject to transparency principles and public disclosure. 

Recommendation 29 

That the Minister, in the exercise of his or her discretionary power over licencing, may specify conditions of licence respecting and in support of social and economic objectives, in addition to the conservation objectives currently identified. 

Recommendation 30

That any revision to the Fisheries Act should include direction for restoration and recovery of fish habitat and stocks. 

Recommendation 31

That the Government of Canada address known regulatory gaps to ensure that Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in collaboration with all fisheries stakeholders, is capable of responding to all activities that are harmful to fish or fish habitat and is able to actually determine effect (e.g. ongoing collection of baseline data that allows determination of changes due to activities). 

Recommendation 32

That Fisheries and Oceans Canada renew its commitment to the “No Net Loss” and “Net Gain” policies with a renewed focus, effort and resources on restoration and enhancement of fish habitat and fish productivity and that the Department allow project proponents flexibility to fulfill this requirement.