Navigation Links
Changes to fisheries legislation have removed habitat protection for most fish species in Canada
Date:11/7/2013

Federal government changes to Canada's fisheries legislation "have eviscerated" the ability to protect habitat for most of the country's fish species, scientists at the University of Calgary and Dalhousie University say in a new study.

The changes were "politically motivated," unsupported by scientific advice contrary to government policy and are inconsistent with ecosystem-based management, fisheries biologists John Post and Jeffrey Hutchings say.

Their comprehensive assessment, in a peer-reviewed paper titled "Gutting Canada's Fisheries Act: No Fishery, No Fish Habitat Protection," is published in the November edition of Fisheries, a journal of the 10,000-member American Fisheries Society.

"The biggest change is that habitat protection has been removed for all species other than those that have direct economic or cultural interests, through recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries," says Post, professor of biological sciences at the University of Calgary.

Before, "there used to be a blanket habitat protection for all fish species," he says. "Now there's a projection just for species of economic importance which, from an ecological standpoint, makes no sense."

Studies cited by Post and Hutchings show that not protecting habitat is the "single greatest factor" for the decline and loss of commercial and non-commercial species on land and in water.

Yet the changes to the Fisheries Act removed the "mandated legal protection" of habitat even for fish species that are in decline, Post says.

About three-quarters of approximately 80 freshwater fish species in Canada listed as being at risk, threatened or endangered "are not going to receive the protection that they did in the past," Post says.

Hutchings is a former chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada while Post is a current member. Both scientists' research is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

One reason the federal government gave for making the changes last year was to streamline environmental reviews and make the regulatory process more efficient for development projects.

But Post and Hutchings' paper cites peer-reviewed scientific studies which found that between 2006 and 2011, only one project proposal among thousands was denied by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Only 1.6 per cent of 1,238 convictions under the previous Fisheries Act between 2007 and 2011 pertained to the destruction of fish habitat.

Also, environmental review times for projects under the previous Fisheries Act were found to be already in line with new review times mandated by the federal government last year.

There were some improvements made to the Fisheries Act, Post and Hutchings say. This included recognizing recreational and Aboriginal fisheries as being important, provision for policy on invasive species, and increased fines for contravening the legislation.

But at the same time, the federal government has closed many regional Fisheries and Oceans offices including one in Calgary and eliminated about 30 per cent of fisheries personnel who manage habitat issues, "so they no longer have the capacity to police infractions," Post says.

"Politically motivated dismantling of habitat protection provisions in the Fisheries Act erases 40 years of enlightened and responsible legislation and diminishes Canada's ability to fulfill its national and international obligations to protect, conserve, and sustainably use aquatic biodiversity," their paper says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Marie-Helene Thibeault
m.thibeault@ucalgary.ca
403-679-8447
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Holding a mirror to brain changes in autism
2. How old are these rocks, how were they made, and how long ago did these geologic changes happen?
3. Scientists find that neurological changes can happen due to social status
4. Changes in brains blood flow could cause brain freeze
5. Air pollution level changes in Beijing linked with biomarkers of cardiovascular disease
6. Nature: Molecule changes magnetism and conductance
7. New research finds increased growth responsible for color changes in coral reefs
8. New milestone book documents changes in the south Florida marine ecosystem
9. Height, weight and BMI changes seen in children treated with peginterferon alpha for hepatitis C
10. Changes in water chemistry leave lake critters defenseless
11. Major changes needed to protect Australias species and ecosystems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Changes to fisheries legislation have removed habitat protection for most fish species in Canada
(Date:2/3/2017)... , Feb. 3, 2017 A new ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) . Designed to fill ... the complex identity market, founding partners Mark Crego ... 35 combined years just in identity expertise that span ... and non-profit leadership. The Crego-Kephart combined expertise has a ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, ... released a new white paper " What You Should ... The problem of ensuring user authenticity is a growing ... the authentication of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... 1, 2017 IDTechEx Research, a leading provider ... announces the availability of a new report, Sensors for Robotics: ... Continue Reading ... ... robots. Source: IDTechEx Report "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... -- Four US Biotech equities have been ... are: Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH), Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... and Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNAT ). ... are growing more bullish on the sector as a ... cash held overseas for tax reason by large US ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... ... The Catalyst Midwest premix manufacturing facility has been certified as organic, ... label organic services. , The first organic product is Organic 18 Percent Layer Feed, ... Marketing, which owns the facility. , Catalyst already has received the Safe Feed/Safe ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... awarding of a $224K grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for ... is based on Delpor’s PROZOR technology and is expected to deliver therapeutic ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Symic Bio, a ... a new category of therapeutics, announced today the completion ... in peripheral artery disease. The trial will evaluate the ... therapeutic, in the reduction of restenosis following angioplasty. ... development milestone for SB-030," said Nathan Bachtell , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: