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Archived - Harper Government Takes New Measures to Fight Against Aquatic Invasive Species

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Proposed regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in Canada

December 5, 2014 - London, Ontario

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, joined by MPs Dave Van Kesteren, Pat Davidson, Bev Shipley and Joe Preston, today announced a significant step in safeguarding Canada’s waterways from the spread of aquatic invasive species. Similar events were also held today in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations would provide a national regulatory framework to help prevent intentional and unintentional introductions of aquatic invasive species in Canada from other countries, across provincial and territorial borders, and between ecosystems within a region. It would also provide measures to facilitate response and control activities. For example, these regulations would give Canadian Border Services Agency officers the ability to enforce prohibitions against import at the Canadian border. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada developed the proposed regulations in consultation with federal, provincial and territorial governments, with a common goal aimed at addressing the threat of aquatic invasive species and protecting the economic well-being of Canadian waters.

The proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations will be published on December 6th, 2014 in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period.

Quick Facts

  • Species impacted by these proposed regulations include Asian carps (four species), Zebra and Quagga mussels as well as Sea Lamprey.
  • The regulations will also include a list of species that are not prohibited in specific geographic regions but for which control activities may be undertaken. Initial list includes tunicates, green crab, and species such as Smallmouth Bass and Walleye which are native to some parts of Canada but are considered invasive elsewhere.
  • The Government of Canada, through Fisheries and Oceans Canada, commits over $14 million annually to combat aquatic invasive species across Canada, including the Sea Lamprey Control Program in the Great Lakes.
  • Through sustained efforts, Canada and the U.S. have reduced the populations of Sea Lamprey in the Great Lakes by 90 percent, and have stopped any further spread of this invasive species.
  • The Government of Canada is also investing $17.5 million over 5 years (2012-2017) to address key activities related to prevention, early warning, response, and management and control designed to prevent the introduction and establishment of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. Included in these efforts is the opening of a new Asian carp laboratory in Burlington, Ontario.
  • Since 2006, no aquatic invasive species attributed to vessel ballast water discharge have been found in the Great Lakes. This is due to strict enforcement of science-based ballast management regulations through a joint bi-national inspection program.

Quotes

“Our Government is committed to protecting our recreational and commercial fishing industries by keeping our waterways safe from invasive species. Since 2006, we have invested in science, prevention, early warning, rapid response and management and control. We must remain vigilant in these efforts, and our proposed new regulations under the Fisheries Act will bolster our ability to fight the entry and establishment of aquatic invasive species and give those stewards of our fish and fish habitats more ammunition in that fight.”

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

“The Great Lakes support commercial and recreational fishing and shaped communities. Our Government is committed to prevent and mitigate the damage caused by invasive species such as Sea Lamprey, Zebra Mussels and Asian carps into Canadian waters. Our proposed regulations include measures to ensure rapid response capabilities to effectively manage aquatic invasive species. The Canadian Border Services Agency, under these new regulations, will have the authority to stop aquatic vessels at the border to check for invasive species.”

Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent-Essex Dave Van Kesteren

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Photo caption: The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, today announced new federal Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations designed to prohibit the importation and spread of species like Asian carps. Minister Shea was joined by MP Dave Van Kesteren (centre) and Matt Smith from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

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For more information:

Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537

Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474

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The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, today announced new federal Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations designed to prohibit the importation and spread of species like Asian carps. Minister Shea was joined by MP Dave Van Kesteren (centre) and Matt Smith from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

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