ARCHIVED - Frequently asked questions - Aquaculture Activities Regulations

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Q1.      Who is affected by the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations?

A1. The proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations would apply to all aquaculture operations in Canada that operate in waters that have fish and/or release effluent into waters that have fish.

Q2.      What do the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations do?

A2. The Aquaculture Activities Regulations build on existing federal and provincial regulatory regimes. The proposed Regulations are intended to clarify conditions under which aquaculture operators may treat their fish as well as deposit organic matter under sections 35 and 36 of the Fisheries Act. As in the past, the Regulations would require that only products regulated by Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act or the Food and Drugs Act may be used. The proposed Regulations will also require greater public reporting from the industry and impose specific environmental monitoring and sampling requirements.

Reconciling or clarifying aquaculture-related regulations will improve coherence, simplicity and accountability. The Regulations will also increase operational certainty in the industry and improve investor confidence.

For detailed information, please consult the Before and After section of the Backgrounder: Proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations.

Q3.      Will these proposed Regulations allow more chemicals to be used?

A3. No. These proposed Regulations do not encourage the use of more chemicals as the objective is to minimize impacts on fish and fish habitat. Under the proposed Regulations, operators would have to demonstrate why non-chemical alternatives were not used to eradicate fish pests and pathogens.

Q4.      How can I be engaged in the development of these Regulations?

A4. Canadians are invited to comment on the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations until October 22, 2014. All comments received during the 60-day pre-publication period on the proposed regulations will be considered before policy directions are finalized and revisions, if needed, to the regulations are made. To help you provide comments, you can consult the following complementary documents:

A broad range of stakeholders has been engaged in the development of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations and in shaping the direction and focus areas of the Aquaculture Regulatory Reform agenda.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be holding technical sessions for affected stakeholders throughout the country in the coming weeks. Stakeholders will be contacted with further details.

Q5.      What would change if the proposed Regulations come into effect?

A5. The large number of regulators and requirements faced by the aquaculture industry in Canada is cumbersome for operators and confusing for Canadians who want assurances that environmentally sustainable practices are required by law and are enforced. The proposed Regulations would resolve uncertainties in the application of various federal Acts, eliminate overlap and duplication and ensure that authorized aquaculture operators would be able to operate with certainty regarding their compliance with the Fisheries Act.

There would be specific environmental monitoring, sampling and reporting requirements for deleterious substances released from aquaculture operations.

The public would also have access to more data surrounding impacts of deleterious substances released from aquaculture operations in Canada.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, and Health Canada would convene a multi-year science-based research and advisory panel to review the implementation of the proposed Regulations and to determine if modifications are needed. This panel would also review biochemical oxygen-demanding (BOD) monitoring methodologies to evaluate whether enhancements are needed to the monitoring standards and procedures.

Q6.      What would be monitored and reported and how often?

A6. Under the proposed Regulations, aquaculture operators would be required to monitor the release of deleterious substances on an ongoing basis. The Proposed Monitoring Standard outlines the methodologies to be used and the level of monitoring detail that would be required from aquaculture operators to ensure consistent, high-quality data.

Aquaculture operators would have to report the results of these monitoring activities to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on an annual basis. Operators would have to complete the Proposed Reporting Template and submit it each year for activities conducted in the previous calendar year. The data collected would be aggregated and published annually on Fisheries and Oceans’ web site.

Q7.      Are these Regulations part of a broader agenda?

A7. Yes. The Aquaculture Activities Regulations are an important part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s broader Aquaculture Regulatory Reform agenda, which is central to the Sustainable Aquaculture Program.

This regulatory reform agenda entails many activities over the next few years to either develop new or amend current regulations under the Fisheries Act. The agenda is pragmatic and targets areas of improvement that will protect the environment while removing impediments to sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector.