Access to wild stocks

Access to fish for development purposes occurs in a few circumstances. For finfish, requests for wild fish generally involve collection of a small number of fish relative to the wild fish population size. This access is generally to establish brood stock lines, to improve existing brood lines, or to carry out early research and development of new species for culture. Shellfish operations may seek similar access and in some cases also collect juveniles from the wild for cultivation to harvest. The Department’s policy on Access to Wild Aquatic Resources as it Applies to Aquaculture provides additional guidance on the consideration of access to wild fish. Applicants planning to carry out activities that may impact an aquatic species that is protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) will require a special permit.

In BC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for issuing licences to harvest (collect) fish for experimental, scientific, educational, public display or aquaculture purposes.  A valid permit for collection, and corresponding Introductions and Transfers licence (depending on activity), must be obtained prior to collection and transfer of fish.  

  1. For collection of marine fish for:
    1. Experimental, scientific, educational or public display purposes:
      1. Obtain a valid scientific collection permit and
      2. Obtain a valid Introductions & Transfers licence
    2. Aquaculture purposes (for further information, contact the BC ITC coordinator):
      1. Obtain a valid Access permit (fill out Section 4 of Introductions & Transfer Application Form) and
      2. Obtain a valid Introductions & Transfers licence
  2. For collection of freshwater fish (does not include anadromous fish: fish that have spent part of their lifecycle in the ocean like salmon) for:
    Educational or scientific purposes
    1. Obtain a valid fish collection permit issued through the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and
    2. Obtain a valid Introductions & Transfers licence
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