Fisheries Act updates to better support the review of projects
The modernized Fisheries Act helps the review process for major development projects and guidance for small, routine projects.
What’s changed in the Fisheries Act
The Fisheries Act now includes:
- the ability to make regulations which clearly define the projects, or parts of projects, that would always require a ministerial permit (or “designated” projects)
- new authorities to support the development of codes of practice for small, routine projects
Designated projects will always require a ministerial permit. These would be larger-scale projects that would also be subject to a federal impact or environmental assessment. They will be identified in regulations based on their potential impacts on fish and fish habitat.
Once the regulations designating these projects are developed under the modernized Fisheries Act, proponents will:
- know which projects always require a permit
- have greater certainty around process and associated timelines
The practice of issuing letters of advice and ministerial authorizations will continue for projects that are not listed as designated projects.
Codes of practice for small and routine projects
Codes of practice will provide advice on how to avoid impacts on fish and fish habitat. These codes will increase compliance with the Fisheries Act.
Codes of practice will be developed in collaboration with those with interests in the protection of fish and fish habitat, and with other interested groups, such as:
- Indigenous peoples
- industry and proponents
- environmental groups
- provinces and territories
- Protecting biodiversity and addressing threats
- Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
- Supporting independent fishers
- Protecting fish and fish habitat
- Restoring habitat and rebuilding fish stocks
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