Fisheries Protection Program

Fish have long had economic, environmental, cultural and spiritual value to Canadians, yet the sustainability and productivity of fisheries today are threatened by multiple and interacting stressors. The sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries are best achieved when partners and stakeholders with a common interest work together to conserve and protect fish and fish habitat.

The Fisheries Protection Program (FPP) of Fisheries and Oceans Canada works collaboratively with others to manage impacts to commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries resulting from habitat degradation or loss, alterations to fish passage and flow, and aquatic invasive species.

FPP is responsible for the administration of the fisheries protection provisions of the Fisheries Act including the establishment of guidelines and regulations. FPP is also responsible for the administration of certain provisions of the Species at Risk Act, and has specific legislative responsibilities in relation to federal environmental assessment regimes including, among others, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and regimes in the territories and under land claims agreements.

FPP provides advice to proponents to enable them to proactively avoid and mitigate the effects of projects on fish and fish habitat, undertakes the review of proposed works, undertakings and activities that may affect fish and fish habitat, and ensures compliance with the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act by issuing authorizations and permits, when appropriate, with conditions for offsetting, monitoring, and reporting.

FPP is also responsible for meeting the duty to consult, and when appropriate, accommodate, in relation to potential impacts on Aboriginal and Treaty rights related to authorizations or permits that may be issued under the Fisheries Act or the Species at Risk Act.

In addition, FPP provides its expertise through the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan, delivers the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program, and supports the administration of the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations.

Regulatory Partnerships

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has arrangements with certain federal agencies and provincial governments who conduct an initial review of project plans, under their respective jurisdictions, to determine if project proponents require advice or DFO review under the fisheries protection provisions of the Fisheries Act. If your project is regulated by the National Energy Board or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, or takes place in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island, you should contact the appropriate federal agency or provincial department before contacting DFO.

Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program

The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program provides funding to recreational fisheries and conservation groups undertaking fish habitat restoration activities. These activities support the common long term goal of enhancing the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada’s recreational fisheries.

Expert Support for Contaminated Sites

With the goal of protecting fish and fish habitat to ensure sustainable aquatic ecosystems, FPP provides expert support to federal custodial departments, through science-based and nationally consistent advice, to foster effective and cost-efficient federal contaminated site management.