Environmental Management of Aquaculture

In aquaculture management, as in fisheries management more broadly, regulatory decisions consider the impact of activities on fish and the ecosystems which support them, and take into account broad ecosystem changes such as climate change.

Fisheries and Oceans environmental management objective for aquaculture is to ensure that fish and fish habitat are protected using mitigation, monitoring and compliance approaches that are efficient, effective and commensurate with the potential risk to the environment. These approaches are consistent with fisheries management approaches.

To deliver their responsibilities for the management of aquaculture in Canada, regulators consider the following:

Decisions on new licences and applications for amendments to existing licences that have the potential to increase the environmental footprint (siting decisions) are one of the major management tools for regulators of aquaculture to ensure that serious harm to fish and fish habitat will not occur as a result of siting decisions.  

In British Columbia, where Fisheries and Oceans Canada issues aquaculture licences, the Department has set out its process for consideration of environmental risks. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a similar process to guide its aquaculture leasing and licensing decisions on Prince Edward Island. Elsewhere, the Department provides science advice to provinces on site applications based on the Department’s environmental management approach for aquaculture, as well as the information it receives on the aquaculture operations and management measures to mitigate risks to fish and fish habitat.

Learn more about the management of Canadian aquaculture: