SARA Permits

On June 1, 2004, it became illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture, or take any endangered or threatened species protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). However, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans may authorize activities which could affect an aquatic species protected under the Act if he believes these activities will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of species at risk.

The Minister must believe that:

  • the activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and is conducted by qualified persons;
  • the activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or
  • affecting the species is incidental to carrying out the activity.

If you’re a researcher and are planning to carry out activities that may impact a species that is protected under SARA, you will require a SARA permit (referred to as a Section 73 permit).

As a proponent of a scientific research project, you will need to:

  • be proactive in your research design,
  • demonstrate awareness of the provisions of SARA, and
  • demonstrate that measures are being taken to minimize harm to listed species and that the best solution has been adopted.