Regulating and monitoring British Columbia’s marine finfish aquaculture facilities 2015–2016: How aquaculture facilities are regulated
Table of Contents
- Summary of marine finfish aquaculture in British Columbia
- How aquaculture facilities are regulated
- Assessing compliance
- Reporting requirements and reports submitted
- Monitoring and audits: Fish health
- Monitoring and audits: Environmental
- Monitoring and audits: Inventory and aquaculture statistics
DFO responsibilities and licences
The most important pieces of legislation governing marine finfish aquaculture activities in British Columbia (BC) are the Fisheries Act, the Fishery (General) Regulations, the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations, and the newly implemented Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR). The AAR, which came into force in 2015, set out the conditions under which specific deleterious substances can be used by aquaculture operators across the country. DFO is responsible for enforcing the Fisheries Act and regulations.
Through the BC Aquaculture Regulatory Program (BCARP), DFO
- develops and implements policies, regulations, and licence conditions related to B.C. aquaculture
- assesses applications for new licences and amendments to licences
- monitors aquaculture facilities to ensure that they are operating according to the regulations and that they conform to the required environmental standards
- engages with First Nations and stakeholders
- coordinates with partner departments and agencies at various levels of government regarding how aquaculture facilities are to be governed
Licences for marine finfish facilities require that all of the following be managed and monitored: which species are cultured, production levels, containment of fish, the introduction and transfer of fish, fish health, sea lice, incidental catch of wild fish (bycatch), escapes, interactions with marine mammals and the impacts to fish habitat. Additional site-specific licence conditions may be imposed where required. DFO has a monitoring, audit and surveillance program to ensure that each company complies with the licence conditions.
Responsibilities of other federal agencies
Other federal agencies also have legal responsibilities relating to aquaculture activities. For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has responsibilities under the Feeds Act, and Health of Animals Act; Health Canada under the Food and Drug Act and the Pest Control Products Act; Environment Canada under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and Transport Canada under the Navigation Protection Act and the Canada Shipping Act.
Responsibilities of provincial and local governments
The Province of British Columbia is responsible for issuing Crown land tenures, which authorize the use of Crown land for aquaculture activities, including the use of the seabed under and around finfish facilities. Separate provincial legislation regulates how farmed fish are processed, how the processing wastewater is disposed of and how dead fish are disposed of on land. The provincial government is also responsible for the management and regulation of business and labour aspects of aquaculture in BC. Local governments are not directly involved with marine finfish aquaculture, but are responsible for land zoning and water usage for other aquaculture sectors in BC.
More information on aquaculture in B.C. can be found at: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/index-eng.html.
- Date modified: