Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 05, 2014 17:26 ET

Harper Government Takes New Measures to Fight Against Aquatic Invasive Species

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

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Dec. 5, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre Joyce Bateman today hosted a roundtable discussion in Winnipeg on new proposed regulations on aquatic invasive species that were announced in London, Ontario by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

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.
  • Native to Eastern Europe, Zebra mussels were likely introduced by ballast water to the Great Lakes in the mid-1980's and rapidly spread into eastern Canada and the United States. Zebra mussels were found in Lake Winnipeg for the first time in October 2013. Their rapid population growth and ability to attach to any hard surface, such as hard rocky lake bottoms, infrastructure (e.g. piers, breakwater, water intake pipes), boats, motors and certain aquatic species, make Zebra mussels both a significant economic and an environmental threat.


"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

"Ensuring the health and productivity of Lake Winnipeg and freshwater systems throughout the Prairies is a priority for our Government, which is why we must remain vigilant in our fight against aquatic invasive species such as Zebra mussels. Today I am pleased to announce our public consultation on proposed new regulations under the Fisheries Act, which will bolster our efforts to fight the entry and establishment of invasive species in Canadian waters."

Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre Joyce Bateman

Related Products

- Backgrounder



Associated Links

- Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

- Consultations on the Proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

- Aquatic Invasive Species

- A Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species


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Contact Information

  • Frank Stanek
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada